Challenges of Implementing Zero-Trust Architecture

Zero Trust

Businesses and cybersecurity industry veterans are exploring opportunities to develop and enforce a zero-trust architecture to ingrain resilience in their security posture and keep unauthorized users away from sensitive data and critical business assets.

A recent report by IBM titled “Cost of a data breach 2022” found that the average breach cost of 80% of critical infrastructure businesses that have not adopted zero trust strategies is US$5.4 million, up US$1.17 million from those that have adopted. . Even though embracing a zero-trust cybersecurity approach offers immense benefits to the security posture, it exposes the organization to various inherent challenges that the business has to overcome. It is crucial for the SecOps teams to have access to the right tools and applications to strengthen their cybersecurity security posture.

Here are a few challenges businesses need to deal with when implementing a zero-trust framework:

On-premises tools might not adapt to zero trust

Legacy tools and applications that were developed on the perimeters have become obsolete and won’t be able to enforce zero-trust architectures to secure the network. On-premises tools need to have separate deployments or need to be replaced, which can increase the budgets and will be tedious tasks.

Also Read: Delivering Better Security Outcomes with SecOps

Zero trust architecture needs constant administration and maintenance

One another barrier to adopting a zero-trust cybersecurity approach is the requirement for constant administration.

Because enterprises will require additional resources or a partner with managed services, it can increase the administration and maintenance costs.

Zero-trust network architecture needs a wide network of well-defined access permissions to keep the IT infrastructure secure. However, many organizations are evolving their processes with new hiring, promotions, lateral movements, and separations occurring on a daily basis. It is crucial to update the access every time there is a movement or change in the job roles to restrict access to information based on the job requirement.

Organizations without the right resources and skillsets might find it difficult to constantly monitor access rights and keep them updated. Enterprises that are not able to keep the access policies updated in real-time might allow unauthorized access to sensitive data.

Productivity can be hampered

Implementing a zero-trust architecture can potentially have an impact on overall productivity. One of the most significant challenges of the zero-trust framework is restricting access without hampering business operations. Modern enterprises need to have data democratization throughout the organization to streamline the information and data flow to enhance collaboration. Organizational productivity can be severely affected if the individual is locked out of the application or tool. Disruption in the business can be a more severe problem than a cybersecurity breach itself.

A Zero Trust cybersecurity approach revolutionizes the ways users interact with the data, applications, and resources on the business network. It can be a tedious task for the user to understand and embrace the changes in the new ecosystem. Zero trust network architecture needs seamless real-time interaction between a vast array of data, devices, systems, applications, and users. A lack of alignment between these applications, tools, and business processes can disrupt business operations. Changes in the user roles will impact productivity because users might lose access to data and resources they need to execute their daily operations.

Also Read: Zero-Trust Architecture (ZTA): Five Best Practices to Secure Network

Zero trust architecture isn’t completely secure

Even though enterprises are embracing this technology to strengthen their cybersecurity posture, it doesn’t mean it is completely secure. Cybercriminals are looking out for trust brokers that can be compromised to infiltrate the business network and accomplish a full-blown attack. Malicious actors can also leverage local hardware like printers and others on the business network to infiltrate it and move laterally in the network. User credentials are also sold on underground forums, which can offer easy access to privileged admin accounts.

These are the potential challenges of implementing a zero-trust approach in the business network, which CISOs need to be aware of before adoption.

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