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Your Security Plan Needs a Zero Trust Assessment

02.14.23 | By Ascent

Companies embarking on a Zero Trust journey understand the core tenets, such as explicitly verify, use least privileged access, and assume breach. When leadership and IT teams begin to implement Zero Trust practices, though, they often face roadblocks.

Companies may rely on legacy technology, struggle with defining risk-based KPIs to measure Zero Trust progress, or focus on insignificant blockers. Each of these challenges delays progress. However, focusing too intently on Zero Trust blockers can cause existing initiatives and long-term goals to be deprioritized. How can businesses balance their long-term goals and
prioritize quick wins with Zero Trust?

A Zero Trust assessment provides more information on an organization’s current cybersecurity maturity, opportunities to make high-impact changes, and guidance on the resources necessary to make meaningful progress. Due to the personalized nature of a Zero Trust assessment, it brings benefits to companies at any stage in the Zero Trust journey.

Understanding the Zero Trust Assessment

A Zero Trust assessment is a tool used to better understand an organization’s current security posture and define opportunities for rapid, impactful actions based on the pillars of Zero Trust. Many types of assessments exist, such as Microsoft’s Zero Trust assessment tools and quizzes, which give organizations a sense of their maturity across the pillars of Zero Trust.

Ascent Solutions offers a Zero Trust Launchpad, providing a tailored assessment of an organization’s current state and a roadmap for making short-term improvements to overall security posture. In as little as three weeks, Ascent’s consultants will leverage our technical expertise to provide a data-backed perspective on Zero Trust sequencing and prioritization.

Conducting a Zero Trust Launchpad allows us to:

  • Analyze an organization’s current state against the pillars of Zero Trust
  • Determine blockers to progress
  • Identify opportunities for improvement
  • Estimate the resources and capacity required to make necessary changes

The final outcome is a prioritized portfolio of security projects, timelines, and budgets to accelerate organizational progress toward Zero Trust.

Pursuing a Zero Trust assessment is one step in an organization’s journey toward Zero Trust, which can lead to long-term success. Organizations that implement a Zero Trust architecture experience, on average, a 92 % return on investment (ROI) and 50% increase in efficiency by security teams, among other benefits, according to Forrester. Taking systematic steps to adopt Zero Trust practices will make significant improvements to enterprise security, employee experience, and revenue.

The Launchpad Process: 3 Phases of a Zero Trust Assessment

Each phase in our Zero Trust assessment is designed to gather information, include internal teams, and ladder up to a more holistic Zero Trust strategy that can be implemented rapidly, achieving security advantages faster.

Phase One: Collaboration

Phase one focuses on information gathering and collaboration to best understand an organization’s existing security posture and Zero Trust maturity.

Through working sessions with stakeholders, we collect information on existing users, devices, applications, and security protocols and conduct interviews to learn from the administrators and leaders of current systems. This knowledge informs future analysis, and ensures our final recommendations align with organizational capabilities and goals.

Phase Two: Validation

In phase two, our consultants validate the information gathered in phase one and continue to observe leadership, IT teams, and employees to collect as much information as possible.

A half-day discovery session equips our consultants with more information on organizational nuances and blockers. This also gives us insight into current capabilities and gaps. Zero Trust adoption varies based on organizational readiness and capacity. Validation supports tailored recommendations by improving the accuracy of our analysis and ensuring our recommendations are feasible for your organization.

Phase Three: Recommendation

In the final phase, the Ascent team will share our findings, analysis, and recommendations. As part of the Launchpad, teams receive a prioritized portfolio of Zero Trust quick-win initiatives. These activities can help businesses balance existing strategic plans with the immediate benefits associated with many Zero Trust strategies.

Our consultants will make recommendations on next steps to optimize in-progress initiatives and areas of focus for future activities, further developing the organizational Zero Trust architecture. Each of our recommendations includes estimates on timing and necessary resourcing so internal teams can anticipate future investments.

After the Launchpad analysis is presented, Ascent’s consultants will continue to collaborate with organizational stakeholders, implementing the high-impact initiatives identified and evolving the organizational Zero Trust roadmap.

Accelerate Progress with a Zero Trust Assessment

Every organization will follow a different Zero Trust journey based on business needs, risks, resources, and goals. However, a Zero Trust assessment like Ascent’s Launchpad can help organizations understand their unique current state, future state, and how to bridge any gaps between the two.

Bring momentum to your cybersecurity strategy by contacting us today to continue your Zero Trust journey.

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