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Customer Stories

How the Four Pillars of Zscaler Lead to Successful Customer Outcomes


Our customers have heard this mantra time and again: “Secure digital transformation requires a true zero trust architecture.” But what exactly does that mean for them on a practical level? 

Those that have made the decision to adopt zero trust know that it has come a long way. It’s no longer an aspiration based on the concept “never trust, always verify.” Instead, zero trust has evolved into a solid technology framework that enables proactive defense and digital transformation as organizations embrace the cloud and hybrid work models.

As the zero trust platform provider of choice for 30% of the Fortune 2000, Zscaler has gained recognition as the leader in zero trust and, by extension, cloud security. Our cloud-native platform stands on four pillars supporting a comprehensive platform that secures, simplifies, and transforms businesses.

In my role as Director, Global Customer Advocacy, I am gratified to hear the success stories of Zscaler customers. It makes my day, and I’m happy to report that the positive outcomes keep on coming. Let’s look at these pillars through the eyes of our customers and discover why more than 7,700 organizations rely on Zscaler to strengthen their security posture and accelerate their digital transformation.

Pillar 1: Cyberthreat Protection

At the core of the first pillar is the assumption that traditional cybersecurity approaches are obsolete in today’s cloud-first world. The attack surface now extends to home offices, cloud applications, and public clouds, and there is an ever-increasing risk of lateral threat movement within highly interconnected hub-and-spoke networks protected by castle-and-moat security models.

The Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange provides a holistic approach to securing users, workloads, IoT/OT devices, and B2B partners. Its advanced zero trust architecture minimizes the attack surface by hiding applications behind the Zscaler security cloud. This prevents lateral threat movement with direct-to-application connectivity that keeps entities off the network and stops attacks and breaches via full inline inspection of all traffic, including encrypted traffic, at scale.

When I met with John Pratezina, Senior Network Operations Administrator at Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC)—the organization that provides financial planning services for Australian Government employees and their families—he shared with me that his goal was to replace VPNs and firewalls with zero trust access. As a seasoned technology leader, he recognized that the old network perimeter model doesn’t work in a hybrid world and the traditional VPNs and firewalls were giving users terrible application performance. He and his team decided to adopt a zero trust architecture. They investigated multiple solutions, and ultimately chose the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange. “Zscaler provided the foundation for a holistic SSE ecosystem that included solutions for users, devices, and workloads,” says Pratezina. 

The agency first deployed Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA) for fast, direct, and secure connectivity to the internet and SaaS applications, followed by Zscaler Private Access (ZPA), which securely connects users to critical private business applications residing in CSC’s hybrid IT environment. This is enabling Pratezina and his team to tighten security in numerous ways. 

“We’ve come across malicious websites that our old proxies were not only allowing, but also had not flagged,” remarks Pratezina. “Today, with Zscaler, we’re preventing an average of 7 million policy violations per month, including types our legacy solutions allowed through.”

Pillar Two: Data Protection

It only takes a few clicks for sensitive data to fall into the wrong hands—that’s why protecting data in the cloud requires a modern approach. Zscaler protects all users and devices wherever they are with fully integrated data protection across all channels, including unsanctioned applications, authorized applications, and devices.

With AI-powered discovery and classification, Zscaler continuously scans data in motion and at rest, including data residing in SaaS and private applications. Zscaler also discovers shadow IT and risky, unapproved third-party applications users have connected to, as well as any misconfigurations or compliance violations in sanctioned applications.

I had a fascinating conversation with Mike Towers, Chief Digital Trust officer at Takeda, a Tokyo-based pharmaceutical company with more than 60 office and research locations in 110 countries around the world. In an industry built on research, the company—the oldest pharmaceutical company in the world—must protect its proprietary technologies, applications, and intellectual property.

After struggling with a lot of “niche point solutions,” Towers turned to the Zero Trust Exchange and its Zscaler Private Access (ZPA) service. The company now leverages the Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) capabilities to make better security decisions based on data. Towers observes, “Zscaler’s comprehensive and unified approach to protecting data across all channels helps us transform and evolve our data protection program, ensuring sensitive data remains secure from accidental loss or malicious exfiltration." 

Pillar Three: Zero Trust Connectivity

Traditionally, organizations backhauled traffic destined for cloud applications or the internet to on-premises data centers. Today, most have realized that this approach is inefficient and expensive. It results in loss of productivity due to latency and exposes the network, devices, and users to potential risk. Zscaler, on the other hand, provides zero trust connectivity and security that grant users anywhere in the world direct access to applications—and no more backhauling to a distant data center. This provides a seamless, faster, and more secure user experience.

When I sat down for an interview with Anthony Kennedy, Global IT Manager, Trade and Investment Queensland—the Australian government’s global business agency—I learned that he and his team had years ago adopted a cloud-first IT strategy. “The fact that Zscaler is cloud based made it particularly attractive for us,” he shares. 

With staff and equipment spread across multiple countries and locations, the cloud-first strategy and distributed nature of the agency’s operations created security challenges Kennedy and his team were well aware of. They actively sought out a better way to protect the network and core systems.

The agency adopted Zscaler to monitor and manage all internet traffic across the organization. “With all incoming and outgoing traffic routed through Zscaler, getting a clear picture of what is going on is much easier, allowing better reporting for senior management as well as real-time notifications of any threats that are detected,” says Kennedy.

Pillar Four: Business Analytics

With the world’s largest security cloud processing more than 300 billion transactions per day, Zscaler provides unparalleled business analytics. One example of this analytics capability is digital experience monitoring. Fast, secure, reliable internet connectivity is critical for today’s hybrid workforces. Zscaler Digital Experience (ZDX) provides great visibility from endpoint to application, so internet performance issues can be quickly identified and resolved—often before users even notice them—using trillions of telemetry signals.

Ciena is a networking systems, services, and software company that delivers best-in-class networking technology through high-touch consultative relationships. The company is a great example of how Zscaler radically changed the user experience for the better. As Craig Williams, CIO at Ciena, tells me, when the pandemic hit, he made it a point to rethink the entire infrastructure, applications, systems, and support models to empower the growing company. 

The company was transiting from phone meetings to video conferencing and needed to make some adjustments to the existing infrastructure to support that move. Williams and his team landed on a joint solution consisting of Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange and VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud. Removing MPLS backhauling reduced latency by 20% and dramatically improved the user experience for the company’s remote employees. Issue resolution was also accelerated by deploying the ZDX service. “Zscaler is the starting point for all user performance issues. We can quickly pinpoint the root cause 95% of the time, up from 25% previously,” he explains.

“After we implemented Zscaler, we saw 90%+ adoption of collaboration tools and slashed costs and support tickets by over 50%. Plus, our IT leaders now have a foundation that allows them to be continually focused on reinventing the company,” asserts Williams. “Our partnership with Zscaler has allowed us to start living out IT’s vision of being a competitive advantage for the business.”

Access more inspiring stories of organizations that have secured, simplified, and transformed their business with Zscaler: See our customer benefits infographic.

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