On Episode 46 of NetSPI’s Agent of Influence podcast, host and NetSPI Field Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Nabil Hannan invited Hudl CISO Rob LaMagna-Reiter to discuss a future-focused approach to Zero Trust. They cover three misconceptions IT teams typically encounter throughout Zero Trust implementation, as well as broader topics including the definition of Zero Trust, reputable frameworks to reference, and long-term budgeting for an enhanced cybersecurity strategy. Read the recap below for the top takeaways, then head over to our podcast page to listen to the full episode. 

3 Misconceptions of Zero Trust Implementation 

One of the conversations on this episode centered around common misconceptions teams face when they plan for Zero Trust. The modern cybersecurity model presents universal challenges on the path to a greater end state of cybersecurity that can stall organizations on their progress. Help internal teams move beyond these common blockers and continue momentum on security initiatives by learning about the counterpoints to Zero Trust misconceptions. 

Misconception #1: Zero Trust is identity, or Zero Trust is the new perimeter. 

Truth: Identity is an important aspect of Zero Trust, but no singular pillar comprises Zero Trust.

The chatter around Zero Trust is dense, leading to mixed messages around what Zero Trust is and isn’t. Vendors can perpetuate this confusion by labeling products as Zero Trust or selling a one-and-done solution that promises relentless security. While identity is an important pillar in Zero Trust, it is only one aspect of the overarching strategy. Having too narrow a focus on a singular pillar leaves gaps in Zero Trust implementation, keeping your company at the crosshairs of a potential breach. 

Misconception #2: Zero Trust is a product. 

Truth: Zero Trust is a methodology to achieve a greater end state of cybersecurity.

Again, the varied messages about Zero Trust from vendors who sell a single solution dilute its meaning as an overall strategy. Zero Trust is not a product or a platform, and no single solution can achieve Zero Trust. It is a framework for organizations to approach more secure systems and align their internal thinking to systematiclly enhance security across many areas of a business. 

Misconception #3: Zero Trust is a complicated dream state that isn’t possible to achieve. 

Truth: Taking incremental steps toward Zero Trust by following a roadmap tailored to your organization decreases the intimidation of Zero Trust and provides quick wins to build momentum for continued progress.

This is the most common misnomer we hear in conversations. Zero Trust is complex, and when trying to solve for everything at once, it can seem overwhelming. Following a Zero Trust roadmap with relevant KPIs tailored to your organization is the key to success. This can include mapping out data flows, the attack surface, and building a strategy around identifying, classifying, and tagging critical applications.  

“The most complicated thing about Zero Trust is it actually forces you to understand your business deeply. It forces you to know more about the business than the business might know about itself.” 

– Rob LaMagna-Reiter, CISO at Hudl

While many misconceptions about Zero Trust exist, these three examples present nearly universal scenarios for any company aspiring to implement Zero Trust or continue its expansion. Zero Trust is a complex methodology, but internal teams can find support by partnering with technology vendors who specialize in cybersecurity. 

Plan for Zero Trust Implementation Guidance Tailored to Your Business Goals 

Zero Trust implementation uncovers what is normal and what isn’t for any business. This deep understanding allows for the creation of a strategy to guide the development of steps within Zero Trust, while remaining flexible to adapt to the business as it evolves.

Listen to the full interview on episode 46 of the Agent of Influence podcast where we expand on how to talk with internal stakeholders about Zero Trust in ways that resonate with them. If you’re ready to make progress on your Zero Trust implementation, contact NetSPI’s Strategic Advisory team to get started.