Why Zero Trust will be a Top Business Priority in 2022

Organizations can bring resilience to ongoing security processes so that DevSecOps teams can spend more time on innovation-oriented tasks.


Over the course of the past two years, organizations have increasingly turned to Zero Trust to better navigate the “new normal” that was brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. An overnight transition to a fully remote workforce, growing cloud complexity in the midst of sprawling IT ecosystems, and cunning bad actors in cyberspace – who continue to wreak havoc on enterprises across industries – have all contributed to the proliferation of security concerns that SecOps teams have to confront on a daily basis.

Today, we’re two-plus years into the pandemic, and firms are still fighting to catch up with increased change. 63 percent of organizations report that their firm was unprepared for the accelerated pace of cloud transformation and migration we saw in 2021. In fact, according to some estimates, innovation and digitization efforts have sped up by a striking seven years since the start of the pandemic.

What’s more, 70 percent of organizations said that their firm struggled to maximize productivity without exposing remote workforces to new security risks in 2021. Meaning that as remote work took off, nearly three-fourths of organizations struggled to balance securing the workforce with ongoing innovation initiatives.

The Need for Zero Trust Today

This is where Zero Trust can help – organizations can bring resilience to ongoing security processes so that DevSecOps teams can spend more time on innovation-oriented tasks that push the business even further. In fact, when it comes to Zero Trust, 75 percent of organizations agree that to better combat evolving cyber risks, their organizations must update pre-existing and technical architectures, to ensure that Zero Trust design principles are baked into cloud adoption models from the start.

But there is still widespread confusion around what constitutes a Zero Trust strategy. And on top of this confusion, organizations that already understand the Zero Trust framework are struggling to convert ideas into action – unable to discern how and where they should apply a Zero Trust approach in order to accelerate their unique security strategies.

In fact, 44 percent of businesses need help identifying and designing the most appropriate Zero Trust pilot for their organization (a critical step in showcasing the efficacy of the technology and securing stakeholder buy-in for further investment). Then, security teams need to implement their plans step-by-step, but Zero Trust implementation know-how is often in short supply. Nearly two-thirds of organizations agree that their teams lack the time, subject matter expertise, and skills to successfully implement Zero Trust best practices (like micro-segmentation) across their organization.

But in the midst of all of this Zero Trust uncertainty, adoption hesitancy, and obstacles facing widespread implementation, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Because as awareness increases and Zero Trust approaches continue to mature, investment is on the rise.

Light at the End of the (Zero Trust) Tunnel

78 percent of organizations say that their firm plans to enhance its Zero Trust security operations in 2022. Additionally, 73 percent consider micro-segmentation technologies and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) to be critical technical foundations of achieving a successful Zero Trust architecture.

Why? Because firms are counting on principles of least privilege to better adapt to today’s evolving cyber realities. It’s no longer enough for organizations to plan for whether a cybersecurity incident occurs; they have to brace for when the next event inevitably happens.

Not every security incident needs to be a business fatality, but in order to withstand the ongoing ransomware scourge, organizations need to turn the corner in their Zero Trust journeys – prioritizing action and incremental progress. Because bad actors aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and organizations need to be able to confront the attacks to come.

Raghu Nandakumara is Field CTO for Illumio, a pioneer and market leader of Zero Trust segmentation. Illumio prevents breaches from becoming cyber disasters while protecting critical applications and valuable digital assets with proven segmentation technology purpose-built for the Zero Trust security model. Illumio ransomware mitigation and segmentation solutions see risk, isolate attacks, and secure data across cloud-native apps, hybrid and multi-clouds, data centers, and endpoints, enabling the world’s leading organizations to strengthen their cyber resiliency and reduce risk.