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Zero Trust: An Imperative in the Cloud Adoption Race

As we all know, COVID-19 marked the beginning of the new normal—business continuity plans went out the window, flexibility was the need of the hour, and working from home became a necessity rather than an option. None of this would have been possible without cloud technology. It helped small and mid-size businesses move online with minimal disruption, enabled large corporations to scale according to demand variations, and overall brought order amid chaos as most of us operated from the comfort of our homes. According to IDC, total worldwide spending on cloud services will surpass $1 trillion by 2024.

It has become increasingly clear that the cloud isn’t just an enabler but the only way ahead for businesses of all sizes and industries. CIOs and CTOs are moving full throttle towards cloud adoption. However, the scope of change required to reach this goal is truly monumental. Like so many others, suppose your organization accelerated its journey to full cloud adoption due to the pandemic; then it’s time to think about the best way to secure cloud-based applications and workloads while delivering secure remote access for distributed teams.

The Importance of Network Visualization

As the scale of cloud environments grows, risk and risk management costs are increasing exponentially. Since July 2020, 36% of organizations have suffered a significant cloud security data leak or a breach.

The reality is that rapid cloud adoption has caused many organizations to inadvertently introduce new vulnerabilities into their networks, exposing opportunities for bad actors to steal and exploit their data. Many businesses have legacy applications and systems they still need to secure, even when moving other business processes to the cloud.

Over the years, network security, which primarily consisted of firewalls and anti-virus solutions, focused on securing the inside (everything within the network perimeter) from bad actors on the outside. This worked when employees were office-bound, with a relatively small percentage of the workforce being mobile. For the latter, VPN was the go-to solution. While these options are easily deployed and budget-friendly, they are far from ideal in a distributed environment. These solutions still work on the basic premise of a protected perimeter and a trusted user that needs local access to enterprise resources. None of these eliminate lateral movement or consider insider threats.

At the same time, threat actors are getting increasingly sophisticated: they’re innovating faster than perimeter security solutions can keep up.

To be prepared for tomorrow’s security challenges, enterprises need cloud-based solutions that can not only secure cloud deployments but also scale to meet dynamic and evolving security requirements.

The Solution

Based on the concept of “never trust, always verify,” Zero Trust is a new-age security approach that intelligently aligns selected technology to solve the security problems inherent to most digital systems. Since its inception, Zero Trust has quickly become the gold standard for security in a cloud-first digital world.

Zero Trust shifts the focus from perimeters to applications (data, assets, people) by using micro-segmentation. Micro-segmentation draws a perimeter around every application workload. Communication between two applications is thus blocked unless explicitly trusted and allowed. Using a Zero Trust security model based on micro-segmentation, companies can easily comply with regulatory requirements such as PCI-DSS and HIPAA while protecting their data from internal and external threats.

The journey to cloud adoption can be complex, and it looks different for every organization. However, it’s crucial to make security a priority and protect hybrid, cloud, and multi-cloud environments—especially as your organization grows and scales. Taking steps toward adopting a Zero Trust security model can secure your business-critical applications, workloads, and users as you continue your cloud journey.

 

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