Security engineer Alper Kerman didn’t hear the words “Zero Trust” until 2018 when he started working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)– even though John Kindervag, an analyst at Forrester Research, coined the phrase eight years earlier. Today, one can’t scan headlines in tech magazines without seeing the once-obscure term dozens of times.
Why? Because of COVID, of course. By necessitating distancing protocols, the pandemic drove workers out of offices to an array of remote locations connected by cloud via Wi-Fi and cellular networks. Sure, in the past, plenty of employees worked outside the firewall some of the time. But now, virtually everybody works outside the firewall most of the time.
This remote staff requires higher attention, as the multiplication of “endpoints” multiplies vulnerabilities and, in turn, the risks of data breaches. In short, every connected device — desktop, laptop, tablet, router and phone — is a potential threat that should not be trusted as secure.
Evidence from IDG’s annual security priorities report shows zero trust cybersecurity on the rise:
- Top Priority: Almost half (49%) of security leaders say protecting confidential and sensitive data is their top priority.
- Close Second: 45% of respondents say, after defending data, increasing security awareness through end-user training is high priority.
- Locking Digital Doorways: 33% polled say they’ve prioritized enhancing identity and access controls.
So, as zero trust cybersecurity becomes post-pandemic, we’re asking readers: Where are you placing your IT trust?