Enhancing Security and Reducing Costs with Advanced Zero Trust Implementation

Traditional methods no longer suffice to protect sensitive data from modern threats. Conventional strategies relied on fortress-like defenses, a concept where the network perimeter acted as a barrier, assumed to be impenetrable by external threats. 

But, modern adversaries have evolved to bypass these outdated methods easily. Today’s cyber threats can easily penetrate traditional security measures. What does that say about the fortress approach?

Not too much.

Today’s security experts are all telling us to “assume breach,” and it’s not because they’re paranoid and pessimistic. With the “assume breach” idea firmly nested, every interaction between people, processes, data, and technology is inspected because… you just never know. 

But even with the “assume breach” attitude, we know the worst-case scenario can still happen: (a breach). 

Now, what’s worse than a breach? 

(Riddle Hint: What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple? Answer: Finding half a worm in your apple.)

What’s worse than a breach is if it has spread laterally, i.e., you have already eaten the worm.

Enhancing Security and Reducing Costs with Advanced Zero Trust Implementation

What is Lateral Movement?

Lateral movement is a professional way of explaining how an attacker would move around once they’ve penetrated an endpoint and are inside the network perimeter. 

Hackers love to move around deep into your system disguised as authorized users. Why do they do this? Lateral movement is done in many scenarios. Here are a few reasons why a hacker would do this:

  • They may try to steal intellectual data, such as project source code, from a developer’s workstation.
  • They may be after banking details or confidential company information that could be exploited for financial gain.
  • Perhaps they’re looking for additional sets of credentials o to enhance their presence and privileges within the network.

Enter Zero Trust, coined by Forrester and endorsed by brands like Gartner. With its core principle of “never trust, always verify,” Zero Trust overcomes the limitations of traditional architectures by requiring continuous verification. This means that your network is more resilient to breaches, making it harder for a breach to breed its “worms” even after an unauthorized user is inside.  

Understanding Zero Trust Security Models

Zero Trust is not a product. It’s a strategic model that incorporates Zero Trust Architecture into a system. Let’s break down the major components of Zero Trust security priciples. 

Identity and Access Management (IAM)

With Zero Trust, every user, endpoint, or piece of data has an identity. IAM solutions are crucial in authenticating identities and assigning appropriate access privileges. Interactions between people, processes, data, and networks are not implicitly trusted.


Microsegmentation is considered a primary Zero Trust security control because it helps you separate your hybrid infrastructure into different areas and determine the protocols for each.

Instead of relying on a single network perimeter, Zero Trust advocates segmenting the network into smaller, isolated zones. Micro-segmentation allows organizations to limit attackers’ lateral movement and contain potential breaches within specific network segments.

If your network is segmented, your infrastructure is separated into isolated areas. In cyber security management, there is a lot of buzz around breaking down walls and isolated siloes. But regarding Zero Trust, you want to contain a potential security incident in the network segment where it happened to prevent lateral movement.

Submarines are an excellent analogy for explaining the process of segmentation. Submarines are built in sections to protect the vessel if the hull gets cracked (barring an implosion, of course.)

Firewalls are the tools most commonly used in network microsegmentation.

Continuous Authentication

Unlike traditional authentication methods that rely on static credentials, Zero Trust emphasizes continuous authentication. This involves continuously verifying the identity and trustworthiness of users, devices, and applications throughout the entire session.  You’ll want to apply multifactor authentication at all access points and be sure all connected devices are regularly updated and well-maintained.

Least Privilege Access

The principle of least privilege grants devices and users only the minimum access needed to get the job done. 

The basic idea is that identities are granted only the permissions they need to perform an authorized task and nothing more. That means that nobody has all the keys to the castle. 

Decoupling Security from Infrastructure

Decoupling security from infrastructure means breaking the traditional link between security measures and specific hardware or network components. In a conventional setup, security measures are tightly integrated with infrastructure, requiring organizations to invest in dedicated hardware appliances and costly network setups. Zero Trust’s newfound flexibility lays the foundation for significant cost savings in the long run.

Legacy infrastructure demands substantial upfront investment and incurs ongoing operational expenses, from software updates to licensing fees and hardware maintenance. The expenditure cycle can strain financial resources and impede organizations’ capacity to adapt to evolving threats.

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The Cost Benefits of Decoupling Security

Decoupling security from infrastructure reduces upfront investment and eliminates ongoing operational expenses associated with legacy systems. The freedom to reallocate budgetary resources from maintenance-heavy tasks to strategic business initiatives fosters innovation and competitiveness.

What’s the Cost of Transition?

Transitioning from traditional infrastructure to Zero Trust Architecture is a serious investment in money and resources. 

However, amidst the daunting prospect of overhauling old systems lies the promise of enduring value. The benefits of Zero Trust Architecture far outweigh the initial costs. 

While the transition to Zero Trust Architecture may entail a significant upfront investment of resources, the dividends you’ll earn on your investment make it a strategic imperative for forward-thinking organizations. 

Harnessing Business Potential with Zero Trust

Zero Trust Architecture has come a long way since its inception in 2009, evolving from a theoretical concept to a widely accepted framework for implementing Zero Trust cyber security. It has gained traction over the years thanks to its effectiveness in mitigating modern cyber threats.

Today, Zero Trust is recognized as a strategic imperative for organizations looking to build trust, drive innovation, and foster resilience in an increasingly digital world.

Although it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t support Zero Trust, you won’t find that same level of support when it comes to practically implementing Zero Trust. In a recent report, 91% of the respondents had plans to implement Zero Trust architecture. Are you ready for the stats on how many have actually done the job?

Only 12% had completed the job.

A shortage of competent professionals is probably why a huge gap exists between want-to-be-Zero-Trusts and those already living the ZT lifestyle. 

The other reason may be a reverse effect that’s hard to wrap your brain around. It goes like this: Security teams and professionals are so busy keeping up with security requirements and controls that they simply aren’t able to undertake the overhaul that Zero Trust demands to improve their security posture. In other words, they’re not able to see the magical forest (Zero Trust cyber security) because of the annoying trees (other security operations.)

Cost-Benefit Calculations in Zero Trust

  1. Improved Compliance

Improve organizational compliance by reducing risk exposure. Zero trust audits require organizations to implement strong authentication, authorization, and encryption mechanisms. This approach helps streamline compliance and provides a more cost-effective path for security, compliance, and governance initiatives. Enterprises have reported that the average cost of maintaining compliance runs approximately $10,000 per employee. Zero Trust reduces regulatory compliance expenses by adhering to the highest security compliance standards.

  1. Decreased Risk of Breaches 

A zero-trust approach will result in a significantly stronger security posture. Enforcing items like identity and access management and network segmentation reduces organizational risk and lowers the potential for serious incidents or breaches. Breaches are an expense you do not want to have to deal with.

  1. Reduced Insider Risk

Not implicitly trusting internal employees, contractors, and devices minimizes the “internal” threat surface. For the record, insider threats have increased by 47% within the past few years, according to the Ponemon Institute

  1. Lower Long- Term and Short-Term Costs

A zero-trust approach simplifies an organization’s security by consolidating multiple security controls, applications, and Zero Trust solutions, reducing overall capital expenditures and operating expenses. Although the manpower and resources needed for the initial deployment of Zero Trust are very significant, the overall cost-benefit still favors Zero Trust. In the long run, there’s no question about the cost-benefit.

  1. Better Rates in Cyber Insurance 

Cyber liability insurance costs depend on your cyber risks. Small to medium-sized businesses can expect annual premiums ranging from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. Larger organizations with higher risk exposure may see premiums in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Whether the potential client has implemented Zero Trust in its network is a huge factor in determining their exposure to cyber risk.

Centraleyes: Empowering Organizations to Embrace Zero Trust 

Centraleyes guides you toward a more secure and efficient future with Zero Trust Architecture. Our comprehensive platform empowers organizations to centralize and automate their security and compliance processes, providing unparalleled visibility and control. 

Learn more about how Centraleyes can elevate your security strategy at Centraleyes.com.

Schedule a demo today!

Start Getting Value With
Centraleyes for Free

See for yourself how the Centraleyes platform exceeds anything an old GRC
system does and eliminates the need for manual processes and spreadsheets
to give you immediate value and run a full risk assessment in less than 30 days

Looking to learn more about Zero Trust Implementation?
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