The global zero trust market is growing fast - so fast, in fact, that it is projected to reach an astonishing $52 billion by 2026. And, given the ever-increasing threat posed by cybercriminals, it is hardly surprising (and a bit of a relief!) that organisations are stepping up.
Today, we’re exploring precisely what zero trust means, alongside the reasons and potential implications of its growth in the cyber security market.
First popularized by Forrester Research analyst John Kindervag, the term ‘Zero Trust’ refers to an approach to cyber security that presumes that no connections to corporate networks and systems should be trusted. Rather than assuming trust, as perimeter-based security has done for many years. By trusting no one and nothing, zero-trust ensures that only devices and users with the correct authentication and authorization are able to access an organisation’s network.
With the frequency of cyber-attacks on the rise, there is increasing pressure from regulatory bodies for organisations to improve their data protection and information security solutions.
These attacks commonly take advantage of vulnerabilities at endpoints and in cloud-based applications used by teams working remotely. So, as a solution with a greater level of security both at endpoints and for networks without a physical perimeter, zero trust is the obvious solution to reduce their frequency. According to a report published by Microsoft in 2021, 76% of organisations have at least started implementing a zero-trust strategy, while 35% believe they have fully implemented it.
When it comes to real-world applications, there are two primary use cases for zero trust security. These are:
1. For globally distributed teams
Organisations requiring international, or even national, access to the same central business network rely on cloud-based applications, alongside remote access to sensitive company data and documentation. Some companies force remote employees to reach resources through a virtual private network, but this solution is inefficient and carries many risks and complications. In contrast, zero trust does not require users to connect to the entire corporate network before accessing cloud applications or resources, alleviating many of the issues associated with VPN access.
2. For third-party network access
When allowing third parties to access an organisation’s resources, alternative solutions to zero trust tend to provide access to the entire network, creating a hefty and unnecessary security risk. With zero trust and a least privilege approach, users are only allowed access if authorised and, when authorised, are only allowed access to the bare minimum of assets and applications.
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