Striving to be as agile and competitive as possible inevitably requires organizations to be responsible with their resources. As a result, cost reduction has always been a key initiative for organizations the world over. However, when entering times of economic downturn, the need to reduce spending becomes even more critical. As 2023 begins amidst high inflation and global economic uncertainty in general, organizations are tightening their belts to make sure that they are prepared for whatever scenario may be lurking just around the corner.
While cybersecurity is also a perennial priority for companies, IT teams are not immune from overarching economic conditions. As budgets tighten and teams shrink, IT is tasked to do more with less, while still ensuring that the organization and its data remain safe from cyberthreats. So, how can they best accomplish this undertaking?
This blog series is designed to explain the various ways that organizations around the world save money with the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange every day. As the One True Zero Trust Platform, Zscaler is equipped with a highly differentiated architecture and highly differentiated capabilities that make it the perfect partner for security and cost reduction during economic downturns.
The topic of this first installment in the series is focused on:
The rising cost of data breaches
Today’s enterprise is faced with an onslaught of attacks from increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals that leverage automation, machine learning, and other advanced tools designed to penetrate defenses and steal intellectual property. In other words, it is growing more difficult to stay secure, and legacy tools are not up to the challenge (more on that below). When attackers get their way, companies and their stakeholders can suffer drastic consequences, and the financial repercussions can be significant.
Cyberthreats, like ransomware, can lock down systems and create downtime that disrupts business continuity and wastes resources. Detecting and remediating incidents requires time from highly skilled cybersecurity professionals, which is costly. Legal fees and regulatory fines following breaches can be hefty, and brand damage can yield customer churn and lost business opportunities. A study conducted by IBM projects that the global cost of data breaches can reach up to $10.5 trillion by 2025. So, maintaining air-tight security is critically important to stopping today’s threats and their corresponding costs. Unfortunately, yesterday’s security architectures are not up to the challenge.
The weakness of perimeter-based architectures
Castle-and-moat security architectures shackle security to the network and are a poor fit now that users work remotely and apps and data reside in the cloud. This approach focuses on defending access to the network as a whole, despite the fact that it is continually extended to more and more locations, devices, users, and apps. In other words, this architecture, fueled by VPNs and firewalls, involves an endlessly-expanding attack surface that can be found and exploited via the public internet. At the same time, when security is focused on defending network access, threats can easily move laterally across resources to do more damage once they find their way past the “moat” and onto the network. Additionally, compromise is facilitated by appliances that lack the scalability necessary to inspect all traffic—particularly encrypted traffic—for threats and data loss at scale.
The One True Zero Trust Platform
Unlike perimeter-based security architectures, a zero trust architecture with Zscaler decouples security from the network. Instead of acting as a moat that controls network access, the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange is a purpose-built cloud platform that serves as an intelligent switchboard to secure user-to-app, app-to-app, and machine-to-machine communications. It provides comprehensive protection to stop breaches at every stage in the attack chain.
With Zscaler, the attack surface is minimized—applications sit behind the Zero Trust Exchange so that they cannot be discovered or attacked. Lateral threat movement is prevented, as users and apps are connected directly, without network access. Additionally, the world’s largest security cloud powers full inspection of all traffic, including encrypted traffic, to prevent compromise, leveraging sophisticated, AI-powered capabilities to remediate threats and data loss in real time.
An ESG Economic Validation study about the Zscaler platform illustrates these strengths quite well. ESG found that the average organization leveraging the Zero Trust Exchange experiences a 65% reduction in malware, an 85% reduction in ransomware, and a 27% reduction in data breaches, contributing to an overall ROI of 139%.
If you would like to see how much money Zscaler can save your organization by stopping ransomware attacks, check out our Ransomware Risk Calculator.
Click here to read Part 2 of this blog series, which will explain how zero trust delivers superior economic value by reducing IT complexity.