IT pros embracing Zero Trust model for remote work

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 20 September, 2021

IT pros embracing Zero Trust model for remote work

Despite the unprecedented number of employees working remotely amid the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly half (44%) of IT professionals lack confidence in their organisations’ security systems’ ability to scale effectively for remote work, according to a new Thales study.

According to the report, compiled by 451 Research, traditional security tools such as VPNs are still the primary vehicle for employees accessing applications remotely.

When asked about the technologies in place, 60% of IT professionals identified this capability. Other popular tools are virtual desktop infrastructure, cloud-based access and zero trust network access.

But while zero trust models are the most popular choice for respondents seeking to improve their access environments, less than a third (30%) of respondents said they have a formal strategy and have actively embraced a Zero Trust policy. A further 45% are either planning, researching or considering a Zero Trust strategy.

Meanwhile, 55% of respondents — including 52% in Asia–Pacific — have adopted two-factor authentication within their organisations. But adoption still trails other security tools like firewalls, endpoint security, SIEM and email security. Remote access users remain the top use case for MFA adoption (71%).

According to 451 Research chief analyst Eric Hanselman, the results show that security tools and approaches need to adapt to better support the era of remote working.

“The shift towards a Zero Trust model, along with increasing use of modern authentication technologies, like adaptive and multifactor authentication (MFA), will improve organisations’ security posture,” he said.

“This will be an exciting space to watch as businesses continue to deal with dynamic workplace environments.”

Thales VP of access management solutions Francois Lasnier said the findings suggest that a core barrier businesses face when adopting a Zero Trust strategy is the need to balance locking down access without interrupting workflow.

“People require access to sensitive data in order to work and collaborate and businesses leaders will need to ensure that a drop in productivity doesn’t become an unwanted side effect,” he said. “The research shows that IT professionals increasingly see access management and modern authentication capabilities as key components in achieving a Zero Trust model.”

Image credit: © Le Moal

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