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Only 1% of Companies Meet The Definition of Zero Trust


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.

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,” it says. 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. Thus, it verifies all individual or entity access and authenticates everyone before granting access. 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.

According to Gartner, companies struggle to implement the Zero-Trust security model thoroughly. Let us discuss why.

Companies are struggling with Zero Trust security model

Although the ROI a Zero-Trust security model delivers is incredible, companies struggle to implement it properly. Gartner says, "only about 1% of organizations currently have a mature program that meets the definition of zero trust." 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 that time, 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 per John Watts, the VP analyst at Gartner, "Even so, moving from 1 percent to 10 percent 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 in June, business executives and security officers from different sectors took a massive initiative to implement a complete Zero-Trust model. Accordingly, 77 percent of enterprises have increased their budget for implementing a holistic Zero-Trust model; 96 percent of security leaders consider this model a critical measure of business success.

Challenges with Zero trust 

There are various reasons why a Zero-Trust model cannot be fully comprehensive in securing the enterprise. Here is a list of some critical challenges:

  1. A slight flaw in the system architecture can make the entire Zero-Trust security model useless.

  2. 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.

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

  4. All Zero-Trust models require ongoing updates, maintenance, and regular audit.

Turning Zero Trust into action 

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. I am surprised as the forecasted number is as high as 10 percent. While many organizations have zero-trust aspirations, few have made holistic changes to embrace it."

According to a report, Neil MacDonald, another VP at Gartner, says, "Zero Trust requires that the degree of trust granted to users and devices be explicitly granted, continuously calculated, and then adapted to allow the right amount of access only for as long as necessary." Thus, organizations can devise their security architecture with expert cybersecurity firms like Packetlabs.


Zero-Trust is the most comprehensive security model out there, but it comes with its own challenges. That said, organizations that are willing to invest in Zero-Trust can reap its benefits in the long run. The key is to devise a comprehensive architecture and ensure regular monitoring and maintenance.

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