- A new poll of 800 businesses found 94% embraced some aspect of a new approach to cybersecurity that constantly authenticates users.
- But many also have run into funding challenges as they try to expand cybersecurity tools to protect remote workers.
- This may provide a real opportunity and challenge for Microsoft, analysts believe.
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Microsoft poll finds businesses embraces ‘zero trust’ security in pandemic, but must cut cybersecurity costs
The pandemic has created a challenging situation for many companies, wherein they simultaneously need to beef up their cybersecurity practices to accomodate the shift to remote work while also keeping costs in check as an uncertain economy shrinks budgets.
Businesses have embraced “zero trust” cybersecurity and broadly adopted multi-factor authentication, according to findings from a recent Microsoft poll, but many are running into budget constraints as they look to go all-in on cloud-based security.
Zero trust cybersecurity is so-named because it “trusts” no one in the company – not the CEO or head of IT – to stay signed into the system. Instead, users are continually authenticated with texts, pings, and biometrics like fingerprints. The approach has allowed companies to ensure that the users on its networks are indeed their employees – not someone who simply acquired log-in credentials. But zero trust also requires limiting all access to data to only those who need it at the moment, and constantly hunting for threats – and those are more expensive areas.
The survey — which polled nearly 800 business leaders of companies of more than 500 employees in India, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the US — found that 94% of companies say they are in the process of deploying new zero trust capabilities to some extent.
And while more than half of the business leaders (58%) reported budget increases for security and 65% for compliance, 81% also reported feeling pressure to lower overall security costs. That may play into Microsoft’s approach of offering integrated cybersecurity, coworking, and cloud-computing solutions, since it can offer a cheaper combined cost than many companies could get from multiple vendors.
Microsoft has hired a new cybersecurity vice president who is also chief marketing officer for security, compliance and identity, reporting to the CEO and other top executives. Vasu Jakkal, former chief marketing officer of FireEye, says Microsoft is doubling down on zero trust and looking to integrate cybersecurity solutions for companies on a budget. That is a big play with lots of potential, analysts say, but also may not be easy.