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Why should you care about zero trust architecture benefits? Zero trust architecture is a tool you can use to respond to the latest cyber threats. It’s critical because cyber attacks are always on the rise and some traditional tools are no longer effective.

For example, the traditional approach of securing the perimeter of your network assumes that any activity on your network is from a trusted source. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. Cyber criminals are finding ways to break through perimeter defenses by stealing the credentials of trusted users. In addition, with the expanded use of the cloud and hybrid workforces, your perimeter isn’t an easily controlled access point.

Attention is being focused on zero trust architecture to keep up with a changing cyber threat landscape. Last year, President Biden issued an executive order to improve the nation’s cyber security and is requiring that all government sites use zero trust architecture.1 Gartner estimates that spending on zero trust network access solutions will see a 26% CAGR between 2022 and 2025, going from $170 billion this year to $233 billion in 2025.2

If you aren’t using zero trust architecture, now is the time to move in that direction.

What Is Zero Trust Architecture?

The foundation of zero trust is the principle that your network should “never trust, always verify.”3 It means that every device and user on your network represents a potential threat unless it has been authenticated. In addition, zero trust architecture will only allow a user or device access to the least number of resources needed to perform its work efficiently.

The architecture includes capabilities such as identity and asset management, network segmentation, threat intelligence, and application authentication. The technology to supply these capabilities are now available to a wide range of businesses.

The Top 7 Zero Trust Architecture Benefits

Business leaders are in agreement about the importance of zero trust according to a study conducted by Forrester.4 Their report indicates that 75% of leaders think zero trust is important to responding to today’s cyber threat environment. These are the top seven benefits that zero trust architecture provides.

  1. Reduces the risk of a data breach. Cyber attacks that result in the theft of data can be devastating to your business and your reputation.
  2. Protects against internal and external cyber security threats. For example, one of the most frequently used attack points are the large number of emails we send and receive every day. Emails are a ripe source of spamming, phishing, and security threats.
  3. Provides secure access to the cloud. Some businesses were already taking advantage of the cloud before the pandemic – but when it hit, virtually every company needed to move to the cloud in some form to support remote and hybrid workforces. It gave cyber criminals a field day that zero trust can help eliminate.
  4. Supports regulatory compliance. Today, there are one or more regulations that your organization needs to comply with. Those regulations range from GDPR and CCPA to PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and thousands of cyber security regulations currently on the books. Compliance is a big issue that zero trust architecture can address.
Need help staying compliant? Learn about our Governance, Risk, & Compliance services here.
  1. Increases visibility into user access. One of the concerns about implementing zero trust architecture is the fear that the user experience will be hurt when the number of authentications increase and the number of resources a user can access decrease. However, zero trust provides more information about a user’s access, and the system can dynamically provide access based on different variables.

For example, a user might be granted access to a specific resource only while they’re in the office. Let’s say that the user needs access from their home, too. The system could be structured to allow access from their home, but still refuse access if the user is at a coffee shop.

  1. Increases security for hybrid work environments. A hybrid workforce presents new cyber security challenges because your company’s network perimeter has now extended to the homes of each of your remote workers. A zero trust architecture that doesn’t rely on protecting your perimeter is a much more secure way to support remote workers.
  2. Provides less dependence on endpoint protection. In today’s environment, relying on endpoint protection for cyber security is no longer effective.

Final Thoughts

Cyber security is a critical component of keeping your data, employees, customers, and partners safe. Implementing a zero trust architecture can help you become more proactive in securing your data and networks. And the seven benefits discussed here are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits you’ll receive. However, according to Forrester, 44% of the business leaders they surveyed felt that they would need help to design a pilot zero trust program.4

Access One can help your organization address the zero trust issue. Learn more about our IT security services. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to help.