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More CXOs Turn to Zero Trust Frameworks In the Wake of COVID-19

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The vast majority of CXOs in APAC organizations believe zero trust frameworks are crucial in the aftermath of COVID-19, according to a Frost & Sullivan study, entitled, “Embracing Secure Access in a World of Rapidly Expanding Virtual Borders”. The study uncovers CXOs’ attitudes on secure access as enterprises embrace the Everywhere Workplace.

The pandemic has negatively impacted business for enterprises in the Asia Pacific region, says the report with a majority of respondents claimed to have experienced up to 9% reduction in business demand.

Overall, 38% of respondents said that their main strategy was to focus on IT operations to maintain business operations for their remote workforce during COVID-19. That was followed by cybersecurity to better protect their organization from attacks.

When it comes to cloud adoption during COVID-19, most respondents indicated their organization adopted cloud more during the pandemic.

Consolidation and integration of solutions was ‘very important’ to respondents. At the same time, the importance of zero trust frameworks increased across the board with 75 percent of all enterprises surveyed during the pandemic stating that this was very important, compared to the 64 percent that stated the same before the pandemic.

With cyber criminals now targeting the underlying technologies that support a growing remote workforce, manual, disparate security tools are not going to be sustainable for IT teams.

Enterprises are therefore recommended to adopt a strategic approach that focuses on:

Complete visibility and centralized control by deploying solutions that provide a single view of threats, technology management, vulnerabilities and perceived risks across an organization’s entire environment. When enterprises enter the market for new security vendors, the key features they need to look for include threat detection and response, penetration testing, vulnerability testing and scanning and security technology management.

Support for multi-cloud and diverse environments – In order to address the mounting challenge of protecting globally dispersed data and compute environments, it is critical that the modern enterprise’s security stance encompasses assets in all environments, whether on-premises, public clouds, private clouds, or a mixed setup.

Kenny Yeo, Associate Director and Head of Asia Pacific Cyber Security Practice at Frost & Sullivan, said, “To secure digital assets in the new Everywhere Workplace, security leaders need complete visibility into all endpoints that connect to their networks. They also need to ensure that only trusted users, devices, and applications can access corporate resources.”

Yeo explained that deploying an integrated security platform that features best-in-class contextual automation and zero trust capabilities is the best way to reduce the risk of breaches and future-proof businesses.”

Michael Waring, VP Asia Pacific & Japan, Ivanti Security Solutions Group (SSG), said, “In changing the way we work, COVID-19 has also created new security challenges for organizations. As employees, we are increasingly mobile and remote, and we use an ever-changing combination of networks and devices – some of which could be vulnerable or even compromised – to access sensitive corporate IT applications.”

According to him, “Businesses today need to adopt a zero trust approach, which enables highly secure yet more fluid ‘anytime, anywhere’ access to applications and information in the data center or in the cloud.”

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