Zero Trust Architectures: Are We There Yet?

By Deirdre H. Doherty , Brian McKenney

Facing evolving cyber threats, organizations across government and industry should consider Zero Trust Architecture to improve their security. This paper outlines major challenges and key recommendations for implementing effective Zero Trust strategies.

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The movement towards Zero Trust Architectures (ZTA) aligns with cybersecurity modernization strategies and practices to deter and defend against dynamic threats both inside and outside traditional enterprise perimeters. The “Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity” released from President Joe Biden on May 12, 2021, directs executive agencies to “develop a plan to implement Zero Trust Architecture.” The implementation of ZTA requires the integration of existing and new capabilities, as well as buy-in across the enterprise. Successful implementations will require multi-year planning that includes determination of drivers and use cases, policy development, architecture development, technology readiness assessment, pilots, user training, and phasing of deployments. This ZTA Tech Watcher report explores the state of the technology today and provides background, applicability and benefits to organizations, outstanding challenges and issues, and recommendations.