Embracing Zero Trust Architecture: A Critical Best Practice for Cybersecurity in Enterprises
Walt SzablowskiWalt Szablowski

Embracing Zero Trust Architecture: A Critical Best Practice for Cybersecurity in Enterprises

By Walt Szablowski, Founder and Executive Chairman, Eracent

Summary: With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks in the digital landscape, and the failure of legacy cybersecurity tools and methods, prioritization by large-scale enterprises of cybersecurity best practices has never been more important. In particular, Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA), has emerged as a favored security framework to the persistent cybersecurity failures. With adoption by the U.S. Government and an increasing number of enterprise corporations, the Zero Trust cyber security architecture attempt to turn around the current failed cybersecurity methods and tools.

Article: After 30 years of Cyber Security failures, and cyberattacks continuing to increase in frequency and scale. The US government has made prioritizing cybersecurity Zero Trust architecture critical for organizations, especially large-scale enterprises where the potential for loss and disruption is enormous.

To mitigate these risks, the U.S. government has ordered the adoption of Zero Trust Architecture, and enterprise organizations are following suit. However, Gartner reports, despite rising support for this framework, only 1 percent of organizations currently have a security program that meets the definition of Zero Trust, and only 10 percent are predicted to satisfy the full criteria of a Zero Trust program by 2026 (1). With the increasing prevalence and growing cost of cybercrime, it’s critical for cybersecurity leadership to quicken the pace of ZTA implementation.

The Impact of Cyber-Risks on Large-Enterprise Organizations

While the magnitude of loss and disruption caused by a cybersecurity breach depends on factors such as the nature and scale of the attack, the industry, and the cybersecurity measures in place, cyberattacks have the power to completely disrupt an organization.

First, the costs associated with cyber attacks can be substantial. The 2021 Cost of a Data Breach Report by IBM Security and Ponemon Institute found that the average total cost of a data breach for a large enterprise was $4.96 million.(2) This includes expenses related to incident response, investigation, notification, legal support, and recovery efforts.

Then there’s the indirect financial impact of a cyber attack — such as lost business opportunities, customer churn, and damage to the organization’s brand and reputation. A study by Lloyd’s of London estimated that cyber attacks cost businesses globally $400 billion per year in terms of lost productivity and reputational damage.(3)

In addition to these financial losses, cyberattacks can result in legal and regulatory consequences, undermine customer confidence and loyalty, and cause operational disruptions that impact productivity and customer service.

In light of these potential catastrophic consequences, it’s no wonder large enterprises are prioritizing cybersecurity as a strategic initiative and implementing zero trust best practices to safeguard against cybersecurity threats.

New Approaches to Cybersecurity Threat Management

Some of the most notable technologies and approaches to enhanced protection include:

  • The implementation of a Zero Trust Architecture through a managed process. Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) emphasizes strict access controls and continuous verification to help organizations secure their networks and resources.
  • Defining management Policies and process definitions to manage risk.
  • Defining and applying risk reduction methodologies.
  • Auditing and verifying tools data generation accuracy and scope.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) practices to top of accurate and complete network data to help manage potential cybersecurity threats in real-time and automate security processes.
  • User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) through a managed process to use machine learning algorithms to analyze user behavior patterns and identify deviations that could indicate malicious activity or insider threats, allowing for early detection and response.
  • Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW) applying segmentation and Mini segmentation to go beyond the capabilities of traditional firewalls to provide intrusion prevention, deep packet inspection as required, and application-aware filtering in order to detect and block sophisticated threats and offer more granular control over network communications.
  • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions focus on detecting and responding to threats at the endpoint level, such as workstations, laptops, and servers.
  • Cloud Security Solutions protect cloud environments and data; solutions include cloud access security brokers (CASBs), cloud workload protection platforms (CWPPs), and cloud-native security tools.
  • Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) automates and streamlines security operations by integrating various security tools, orchestrating incident response workflows, and automating routine tasks.
  • DevSecOps is an approach that integrates security practices into the software development and deployment process

These are just a few of the approaches available to large-scale enterprises for the management of cybersecurity threats. A multilayered managed approach that combines various technologies, ownership and best practices is ideal — Zero Trust Architecture has risen to prominence as a failsafe safeguard from cybersecurity threats.

What Is Zero Trust Architecture? 

In response to the evolving cybersecurity landscape and after traditional security approaches have proven to be insufficient, the U.S. Government has ordered the adoption of ZTA as a more proactive and robust security model to counter threats. And enterprise corporations, known for their siloed organizational structures which can inhibit critical communication when managing data across an enterprise network, are quickly jumping on board with this up-and-coming security solution.(4)

What exactly is Zero Trust Architecture? ZTA is a security framework and approach that challenges the traditional perimeter-based security model. It’s based on the simple yet critical principle of “never trust, always verify” and assumes that no user or device should be inherently trusted, and all transactions must be verified whether they’re located inside or outside the network perimeter.

The adoption of Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) is gaining traction across various industries and large-scale enterprise organizations. Many organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and financial institutions, have recognized the benefits of ZTA and are actively implementing or considering its adoption. A 2021 survey conducted by Pulse Secure found that 60 percent of IT decision-makers across organizations of different sizes and sectors were planning to implement Zero Trust initiatives.(5)

The Future of Cybersecurity

While cybersecurity leaders have their work cut out for them as they work to meet the criteria of a mature Zero Trust framework against an increasingly threatening digital environment, it’s clear they’re on the right track. Given the emphasis on data protection, the evolving threat landscape, and the need for modernized security approaches, it’s no wonder that ZTA has emerged as a favored security framework.

About the Author

Embracing Zero Trust Architecture: A Critical Best Practice for Cybersecurity in EnterprisesWalt Szablowski is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Eracent and serves as Chair of Eracent’s subsidiaries (Eracent SP ZOO, Warsaw, Poland; Eracent Private LTD in Bangalore, India, and Eracent Brazil). Eracent helps its customers meet the challenges of managing IT network assets, software licenses, and cybersecurity in today’s complex and evolving IT environments. Eracent’s enterprise clients save significantly on their annual software spend, reduce their audit and security risks, and establish more efficient asset management processes.  Eracent’s client base includes some of the world’s largest corporate and government networks and IT environments. Dozens of Fortune 500 companies rely on Eracent solutions to manage and protect their networks. To learn more, visit http://www.eracent.com/ztrp.

November 19, 2023

cyber defense awardsWe are in our 11th year, and Global InfoSec Awards are incredibly well received – helping build buzz, customer awareness, sales and marketing growth opportunities, investment opportunities and so much more.
Cyber Defense Awards

12th Anniversary Global InfoSec Awards for 2024 are now Open! Take advantage of co-marketing packages and enter today!