7 Benefits of Zero Trust Security for Enterprise
It’s widely known that the zero trust methodology is a highly effective framework for IT security. Yet, what’s less widely known is that implementing zero trust security has additional benefits for an enterprise beyond securing privileged data and resources. Here are seven of those benefits:
1. Seamless end-user experience and access.
Stricter security usually evokes employee visions of more bureaucracy, more difficult access and increased obstacles to getting work done. But zero trust architecture is built upon a foundation of identity access management (IAM), and with that in place, end-users ultimately get a streamlined and easier experience.
Instead of signing in every time they need to access a different application, folder or data, single sign-on means that users only need to sign in once to access everything that they have permission to access. Remote workers also no longer have to deal with unwieldy VPN setups or worry about taking home a laptop or other enterprise-issued devices to complete their work. The result: easier workflows and improved productivity with the zero trust model.
2. Simplified IT operations management and freed up IT staff.
Zero trust architecture streamlines IT operations and alleviates pressure on IT staff, particularly when that staff is dealing with a growing workload caused by the rise in remote work. Because zero trust security continuously monitors and validates network connected devices, and sends alerts when an issue arises, it alleviates the burden on IT departments by reducing this workload.
Zero trust also eliminates help desk requests that pull IT teams away from business critical work, such as requests for help with forgotten passwords and application access issues. With those issues eliminated or managed by the zero trust system, IT teams are freed up to focus on more critical work.
3. Empowers digital transformation and enables adoption of new technologies.
While zero trust is the ideal security model for any cloud-based enterprises, it works just as well for protecting on-premises enterprises. In addition to better security, a zero trust security model also enables enterprises to more easily migrate to the cloud by having the architecture already in place.
Enterprises are empowered to leverage new technologies that can transform their business operations. They can adopt Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (Iaas) platforms, introduce smart network-connected devices to their operations, and choose from an array of solutions to match the enterprise’s particular needs.
4. Increased visibility and improved monitoring.
A zero trust architecture requires seeing and assessing everything on the network. Setting up that framework requires a number of tasks: mapping the flow of sensitive data, implementing a decryption solution like TLS/SSL that provides complete visibility of network traffic, creating an inventory of devices and applications, and more.
With those visibility initiatives completed, enterprises have comprehensive visibility into the entire network and any connected devices, including those that conventional endpoint management systems do not. With automated detection and response as part of the zero trust architecture, enterprises are quicker to spot something amiss, while having the confidence that they are accounting for all network activity.
5. Reduced costs of security and compliance initiatives.
Deploying a zero trust architecture does require upfront investment, both in terms of tool and platform acquisition and the employee hours needed to get the system up and running. However, the subsequent increase in employee productivity and reduced burden on IT teams will realize cost savings in the long run.
In a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Centrify, IT decision makers reported that zero trust reduced security costs by 31 percent. Optimized hosting and management fees and reduced licensing costs for perimeter-based tools contribute to these savings.
6. Smart data segmentation and smarter regulatory compliance overtime.
Moving from a perimeter-based security system to a zero trust security model means being smarter about segmenting and isolating your data. Instead of one giant wall around everything, smart policies put dynamic controls around an enterprise’s data and applications. This increases security by not allowing lateral movement inside the network, containing breaches to the segmented section.
Data segmentation makes it easier to meet compliance requirements, too. For example, an enterprise might have some data that falls under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Policies can be created to meet the requirements of that law and protect the associated data without having to re-architect the whole network when compliance requirements are only required for specific data.
7. Continuous compliance and streamlined security policy creation.
Instead of static security policies enacted on a group level, zero trust security uses dynamic policies based on individual users and devices. These adaptive zero trust policies based on data sensitivity, access patterns, users, devices and applications that enforce the “least privilege” methodology of zero trust can be automatically generated on a continuous, granular basis.
Ultimately, this leads to easier security policy creation than traditional network segmentation approaches based on IP address, port numbers and virtual local area networks (VLANs). Instead of simply creating virtual walls, zero trust architecture allows enterprise to identify what they have, and then determine while policies should apply, leading to a more manageable policy implementation process.
Zero trust security was born out of the need for a better security methodology for today’s world. Yet this new methodology has also uncovered ways in which enterprises can work more efficiently and cost-effectively, create a better experience for end users and IT teams alike, and create a foundation for digital transformation now and into the future