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How CISOs Can Pitch ZTNA to Their Board and Leadership and Get a Yes, Every Time

CISOs are always looking for ways to improve their business’s cybersecurity posture. Especially as the cybersecurity landscape continues to shift and the attack surface expands. Additionally, the rise of remote work, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, and an increase in the sophistication of cyber-attacks, is forcing them to re-think their approach to security and consider new approaches like Zero Trust Network Access, or ZTNA for short.

 

ZTNA is a new way of thinking about cybersecurity that is quickly gaining popularity in the business world. CISOs are taking notice of the benefits of ZTNA and are looking for ways to pitch it to their board and leadership. After all, in order for a business to have a strong security posture, it is vital that its board of directors and leadership be on the same page when it comes to their cybersecurity investments. However, getting buy-in from these individuals can sometimes be difficult, especially if they are not familiar with the technology or its benefits. This is where Perimeter 81 and their ZTNA expertise comes into play to help. CISOs can use Perimeter 81’s platform capabilities as part of the pitch for ZTNA to their board and leadership. This will go a long way towards getting a yes, every time. Not only will this ensure that the company is in a more secure place, but it will also show that the CISO is proactive and understands what the board and leadership are looking for. 

 

So how exactly do you go about pitching ZTNA? Because you get limited time to present and discuss with board members and leadership, let’s take a look at a simple but compelling approach: 

  1. Present the business case for a Zero Trust Network Access security approach

  2. Discuss how a ZTNA security approach brings value

  3. Be prepared to answer tough questions about ZTNA

 

CISOs need to be able to articulate the business case and value of ZTNA

 

When you’re pitching ZTNA to your board or leadership, there are a few key points that you should always hit on. 

 

  1. As a security strategy ZTNA posits that no user, device or network can be trusted implicitly. This is in contrast to the traditional approach to security, which relies on creating a perimeter around trusted networks and users, which most businesses are moving away from.

  1. Zero Trust Network Access provides a much higher level of security than traditional approaches. This is because it enforces strict authentication and authorization policies that make it extremely difficult for attackers to gain access to sensitive data. 

  1. The Zero Trust approach has been shown to be more effective in today’s increasingly distributed and mobile work environment. 

  1. ZTNA can help to improve security posture by reducing the attack surface and increasing visibility into malicious activity. 

  1. ZTNA can help to improve compliance with data privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. 

  1. Zero Trust Network Access is highly scalable, so it can easily be adapted to meet the changing needs of your organization and support growth.

 

When you make your pitch, be sure to emphasize these key benefits of Zero Trust Network Access so that your board or leadership will understand why investing in this technology is a smart move for your company.

 

Discuss how a ZTNA security approach brings value

 

In addition to improving security, there are several value benefits that come with employing ZTNA. These benefits include increased productivity, reduced costs, and improved compliance posture. 

 

  1. Increased Productivity: With ZTNA in place, employees no longer have to wait for IT to give them access to the resources they need. They can get started right away with the assurance that they have been verified and authorized for the specific resources they need. 

  1. Reduced Costs: Because ZTNA eliminates the need for a traditional VPN, organizations can save money on hardware and maintenance costs associated with VPNs. In addition, because ZTNA uses MFA for user verification, organizations can also save on password reset costs. 

  1. Improved Compliance Posture: Many compliance standards require MFA for remote access. By employing ZTA, organizations can not only save on compliance-related costs but also improve their compliance posture overall.


CISOs need to be prepared to answer tough questions about ZTNA

CISOs should expect some tough questions from board members and leadership, who are increasingly concerned with the breaches and the cybersecurity posture of their organization. It is important for the CISO to remember that the organization’s board members and leadership have fiduciary and due-care responsibilities and potential liability should the proper steps and actions not be taken, and a breach happens damaging the company and its shareholders.  Additionally, there can be civil and compliance fines and penalties. It is important to explain the value of ZTNA in terms of improved security and compliance, as well as cost control. In addition, CISOs need to demonstrate how ZTNA can be implemented without disrupting business operations. With the right approach, CISOs can show that ZTNA is an essential security measure that every organization should consider.

how it helps the organization meet its security goals

 

  1. More cost-effective than traditional solutions like VPNs and firewalls because it doesn’t require any additional hardware. 

  1. Easier to manage since you don’t have to worry about maintaining different security perimeters for different users. 

  1. More secure than traditional solutions since it doesn’t rely on network location as a security perimeter. 

  1. Securely connect users to applications without the need for a VPN. This allows for a more agile workforce while still maintaining strong security protocols.

  1. Simplify your security architecture. By moving away from traditional network security appliances, you can reduce your cybersecurity complexity.

 

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is quickly becoming the new standard for cybersecurity investments among CISOs worldwide. It’s a more modern approach to cybersecurity that provides many benefits and strong value versus the obsolete perimeter and VPN approach.

 

Where do you start?

One easy way is to take a look at Perimeter 81’s cloud-based platform and if satisfied use it to make your case to your organization’s board and leadership for Zero Trust Network Access. Doing this will increase your chances of getting their buy-in and result in a stronger security posture for your company overall. Something we all strive for in today’s increasingly digital world.

mclynd

Mark Lynd (CISSP, ISSAP, ISSMP), Head of Digital Business at Netsync is Top ranked global thought leader, author, speaker and practitioner for, AI, Data Center, IoT and Cybersecurity. He has been an accomplished enterprise CIO, CTO, CISO and Board Member for several large organizations. Mark has performed speaking and thought leadership engagements for Oracle, Intel, IBM, Cisco and others. He was named an Ernst & Young’s "Entrepreneur of Year – Southwest Region" Finalist and presented the Doak Walker Award on ESPN’s CFB Awards Show to a national television audience. He served honorably in the US Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion & 82d Airborne.