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Only 1% of Companies Meet the Definition of Zero Trust


Did you know? While many organizations have implemented a zero trust model within their cybersecurity strategy, only 1% of companies meet the definition of true zero trust. A key factor in achieving this is visibility into all users, devices, and activities on the network.

Establishing comprehensive visibility requires significant investments in both training and technology to ensure security teams are equipped with the right tools to monitor and detect malicious activities. With that being said, however, business intelligence firm Gartner cautions against complacency. "Companies should not expect that implementing zero trust principles will be easy and will protect against all cyber threats,” reads one of their latest reports.

Suppose your company has implemented the zero trust framework and entirely relies upon it for complete security. In that case, it's high time to rethink.

What is the Zero-Trust Principle?

The zero trust security principle is a cybersecurity model that assumes that security systems cannot entirely rely upon any individual or device. It verifies all individual or entity access and authenticates everyone before granting access; by definition, it runs on the concept that the model will distrust all individuals or devices within the network perimeter and consider them a threat until they are authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated.

Under the zero trust model, every access request to the enterprise network and data repository must get verified and validated. The network can reside locally or spread across the cloud. This is in direct contrast to traditional perimeter-based controls.

So why are only 1% of companies meeting the definition of zero trust in 2023? That leads us to:

The Struggle With Implementing the Zero Trust Model

Although the ROI (return on investment) a zero-trust security model delivers is incredible, companies struggle to implement it properly.

As mentioned above, Gartner predicts that even if organizations plan to achieve a comprehensive and fully optimized zero-trust principle, by 2026 only a 10th of all enterprises will create a fully-grown zero-trust framework. By then, new attack techniques will mature, and the zero-trust model may be able to dodge or minimize the impact of about half of all attacks.

Only about 1% of organizations currently have a mature program that meets the definition of zero trust.

As stated by John Watts, the VP of Analysis at Gartner: "Moving from 1% to 10% is significant progress. That is a relatively large increase. Ten percent may seem low, but at the same time, right now, when we talk to clients and look at other industry data points, it doesn't seem like there are many large organizations you can point to that have a mature and measurable zero-trust program." 

Again, according to a 2022 survey published by the Cloud Security Alliance, business executives and security officers from different sectors took a massive initiative to implement a complete zero-trust model. Accordingly, 77% of enterprises have increased their budget for implementing a holistic zero-trust model; 96% of security leaders consider this model a critical measure of business success.

Common Challenges with Zero Trust

There are various reasons why a zero-trust model cannot be fully comprehensive in securing the enterprise.

Some of the most common of these challenges include, but are not limited to:

  • A slight flaw in the system architecture can make the entire zero-trust security model ineffective

  • No product in the market is one-size-fits-all, meaning no app/product can make your enterprise completely zero trust. It is the security engineers and architects who design it for complete security

  • Legacy enterprise systems and technologies cannot adapt to the Zero-Trust model. It is because they do not have up-to-date infrastructure and patched software

  • All zero-trust models require ongoing updates, maintenance, and regular audits

Zero-trust security is a powerful approach to cybersecurity that, when utilized correctly, can help safeguard sensitive data, networks, and resources from threats. With that being said, however, implementing it properly requires organizations to address challenges that, if not tackled head-on, will not result in the desired security outcomes.


As enterprise security officers are mulling their path forward, Christopher Hallenbeck, CISO for the Americas at Tanium, says devising a comprehensive zero-trust architecture is complex and will take time. "The process of migrating to zero trust can seem overwhelming," he cautions. "I am surprised as the forecasted number is as high as 10%. While many organizations have zero-trust aspirations, few have made holistic changes to embrace it."

Organizations willing to invest in zero trust can reap its long-term, especially if they work hand-in-hand with cybersecurity experts to cement a comprehensive security architecture and ensure regular monitoring and maintenance.

Ready to become part of the 1%? Reach out to our team today for a free, zero-obligation quote regarding how a zero-trust model may benefit your organization.

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