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Why is Zero Trust Essential for Infrastructure Modernization?


Should I trust you?

Zero trust is the name of the game when it comes to providing security for your organization. But what is zero trust and why should you care? The phrase has gained momentum in recent years but is still not well understood. As a security concept, the goal of zero trust is to verify identity and risk before allowing any user or workload access to essential applications and data in your organization from anywhere. 

Verifying identity and context as a precursor to extending least privilege access to only required applications can be incredibly beneficial for an organization’s security posture. Unfortunately, in practice, applying zero trust principles has often been difficult to accomplish. Most organizations still rely on perimeter security products and services that cannot effectively establish zero trust.

This inability to establish and maintain a zero trust model of security has led to numerous recent cyberattacks, most notably ransomware attacks, which have become more frequent and ubiquitous in nature. In such attacks, organizations aren’t just impacted, but communities as well. One recent example is the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack which impacted airline flight schedules and caused fuel shortages across the South and East Coast.

Keeping up with the Joneses rapidly evolving global competitors 

While the threat landscape evolves and becomes more complex to defend, IT leaders are also being pushed to modernize infrastructure in order to stay ahead of competitors. Adoption of cloud infrastructure — a common aspect of infrastructure modernization — is key to gaining operational efficiencies, increasing agility, and reducing costs. 

However, underpinning this evolution for many is the use of legacy architectures to enable connectivity and security across hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud footprints. These solutions, which were originally intended to build perimeter security for on-premises data centers and corporate offices, are being repurposed for the cloud. Unfortunately, extending the corporate WAN to the cloud with site-to-site VPNs and firewalls cannot prevent modern security threats. Instead, these legacy architectures increase the risk of harm by expanding an organization’s exposed attack surface and allowing unchecked lateral threat movement. 

For bad actors, this means that once they are able to get past this initial layer of security, they are given carte blanche to change and take what they want. And to make matters worse, these solutions inherently increase complexity, require operational maintenance, and drive up costs.

Security cannot continue to remain in the past while infrastructure and applications are modernized. It is time for a new model. This new model must also be transformative in nature to keep in lockstep with infrastructure modernization. Zero trust provides a critical path forward. 

A new hope with zero trust security

At Zscaler, we have created a best-in-class, cloud-native, and purpose-built security platform using zero trust principles to ensure that customers are protected from threats and to help them accelerate their infrastructure modernization efforts.

With our differentiated zero trust approach, we ensure that all workload communications, whether internal or external, are verified based on location and identity, meaning least-privileged access is enforced. We also eliminate the network attack surface by providing direct communications between applications. By leveraging the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange, organizations can secure applications and workloads using simple business policies to reduce complexity and cost.

Help us help you

Now that you have a general understanding of zero trust and why it is critical to organizational success via infrastructure modernization, we hope you begin to see how important zero trust is for infrastructure modernization and why Zscaler is the key.

Learn more about Zscaler and infrastructure modernization here.

You can also schedule a chat with a representative to get a deep dive into our products and services here.

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