It has never been more important for businesses to seriously address their cybersecurity posture. In a world where each day the news is filled with data breaches, ransomware holding corporate devices hostage, and new and innovative phishing techniques, the right cybersecurity can make or break an organisation. Good cybersecurity can do much more than merely protecting systems, however, with a positive impact on end-user productivity, faster deployment of new applications, and a decrease in operational costs – all potential benefits.
For some within businesses, additional cybersecurity measures may seem like another unnecessary IT expense. But deploying a Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) can bring with it a multitude of benefits that far outweigh its cost. Wandera examined why implementing a ZTNA solution makes financial sense for businesses.
What is ZTNA?
Prior to 2020, employers working in the office were often connected by IT to servers that were also kept within the building. But, with the rapid changes that took place in 2020, users suddenly began working from everywhere, requiring the rapid acceleration of app migration to the cloud for many businesses.
ZTNA is designed to solve many of the problems encountered when changing operational models and moving to remote working. A ZTNA model ensures that only authorised users are accessing business applications through consistent policy enforcement across data centres, clouds, and SaaS applications.
So, how can ZTNA financially benefit businesses?
ZTNA – More Than Just Security
Security threats are inarguably on the rise, yet cybersecurity is often viewed as a costly expense and a business blocker, with many leaders not wanting IT teams and their work to slow the business down.
Implementing ZTNA supports high-level management objectives including improving the agility and flexibility of the business whilst also decreasing costs. Many remote access solutions are built based on legacy designs that were not intended to keep up with the rapid changes faced by businesses today. As a result, IT teams often spend excessive amounts of time and money to configure and maintain legacy tools. Instead, migrating to ZTNA is a modern approach that caters for modern requirements.
Migration Isn’t Costly
Moving to a new service is often time-consuming and expensive. However, unlike many transformation projects, migrating to ZTNA does not require an expensive “rip-and-replace” project:
- Choosing a cloud-based architecture and scalable licensing model means that businesses can avoid the high upfront costs of purchasing and installing new hardware and software.
- ZTNA can work in parallel with existing remote access technologies as they are phased out. This allows organisations to deploy new or critical applications via ZTNA, whilst leaving the majority connected via the legacy solution. As applications are upgraded or moved to the cloud, they can be migrated to ZTNA.
This approach minimises the upfront cost of ZTNA deployment, as well as providing a clear roadmap for transitioning to the new security model.
Should an organisation choose to start with a large-scale migration, costs can still be kept down as they will avoid paying for hardware.
Reduce Operational Costs
Unlike many legacy technologies that often run on appliances in data centres, ZTNA is typically a SaaS solution, requiring no IT maintenance by businesses. There is no hardware to monitor or maintain, nor is there any software to patch or update. Should any existing remote access appliances be running in hired space in data centres, these contracts can be cancelled, resulting in immediate cost savings. As a cloud-based service, all operational tasks required for ZTNA are performed by the provider. This ensures that the service is maintained to enterprise-grade standards.
Operational costs are not the only factor that can be reduced, with engineer time spent on operational tasks also subsequently minimised. If businesses use an internal team of engineers for maintenance, they can be redeployed to higher priority tasks.
Decrease Administrator Workloads
Older technologies, such as VPN, were designed for a narrower set of use cases than they are used for today. In order to support the wide range of on-premise, cloud and hybrid applications, administrators often resort to deploying multiple solutions or complex unnecessary workarounds. With a range of device operating systems and user groups, complexity is often exacerbated. As a result, remote access solutions can be extremely time-consuming for administrators.
Unlike legacy technologies, ZTNA solutions are designed for the modern workplace. This means that, not only can the number of remote tools that are required be consolidated, but the complexity of their configuration can also be lower. Reduced operational hours means immediate cost savings. Synchronising a ZTNA solution with directory services, device managers and security tools allows for lifecycle management workflows to be automated, also eliminating a significant amount of operational overhead.
IT Projects – Faster and Lower Cost
In decreasing the complexity of the technology stack, hours spent on design and deployment are significantly reduced. The incremental effect of this can be substantial over several years, particularly for any digital transformation programs that include migration to the cloud. This cost-saving can be returned to the business or reinvested in other IT projects.
Requiring projects to remain on schedule is a key business goal, with future revenue sometimes dependent on a successful rollout. By decreasing the complexity of the access layer, the deployment speed of new services can be sped up. ZTNA can therefore form an essential part of the IT team’s toolkit for on-time delivery.
Increase Business Resilience
The access layer is essential for service availability. Representing a single point of failure, it must be resilient. Achieving high availability with appliance-based technology can be expensive as it requires redundant hardware to be purchased, which may never be used. Comparatively, in being built in the cloud, ZTNA’s high-availability services have no additional costs.
In contrast to VPN, the end-user ZTNA application is also modernised, offering a much smoother experience by routing traffic dynamically without the need for the end-user to enable or disable any settings. The time saved by end-users can be significant. Professionals waste an average of 19 minutes every day struggling with IT-related issues. This equates to over two weeks every year for a full-time worker.
ZTNA is estimated to reduce the number of end-user issues by 80%.
By decreasing the number of end-user issues, there is a direct impact on the IT help desk, with a reduction in incoming tickets, average response time and overall workload. Should the IT help desk be outsourced to a third party, the scope of the contract can be reduced for immediate cost savings.
How Can We Help?
Understanding how new technology can benefit an organisation beyond the most basic explanation can uncover a range of uses. Mobliciti can work with you to understand how ZTNA can assist your organisation, enhancing your security, increasing cost savings, and boosting productivity. Get in touch to find out more.