The future of Zero Trust: key cybersecurity trends in 2024 and beyond

Zero trust architecture has rapidly become a cornerstone of modern cybersecurity, and as we move into 2024, its implications for businesses are becoming increasingly profound.

Ready to start 2024 off securely? Try Parallels Secure Workspace for free now.

Here’s a look at what zero trust might look like for businesses in 2024.

Adoption of Zero Trust via Remote Browser Isolation (RBI)

One of the more innovative trends in zero trust architecture by 2024 could be the widespread adoption of remote browser isolation (RBI).

As web browsers remain a primary vector for cyber-attacks, businesses are likely to embrace RBI as a means to implement zero trust principles directly at the point of web access.

RBI technology isolates the browsing activity from the end user’s device and the company’s network, instead running it in a secure, remote environment. This means that any malicious content encountered during browsing is contained within this isolated environment and cannot reach the user’s device or the corporate network.

The adoption of RBI would signify a proactive step towards minimizing the surface area of attacks, particularly for businesses with a large remote workforce.

By integrating RBI within their Zero Trust framework in 2024, companies will not only secure their networks but also provide a safer, seamless web experience for their users, further reinforcing their overall cybersecurity posture in a landscape where web-based threats continue to evolve rapidly.

The remote browser isolation market is expected to witness a growth rate of over 40% between 2020 and 2026 (Global Market Insights, 2021).

This statistic suggests a growing recognition of RBI’s role in enhancing zero trust architectures, particularly in mitigating web-based threats.

Embracing a “never trust, always verify” philosophy

Zero Trust is founded on the principle of “never trust, always verify.”

In 2024, businesses will increasingly adopt this mindset, moving away from the traditional perimeter-based security models. This shift means that no user or device, whether inside or outside the network, is automatically trusted. Instead, each request for access is thoroughly vetted.

It’s projected that over 60% of enterprises will phase out their traditional VPNs in favor of zero trust network access, emphasizing the “never trust, always verify” principle (Gartner, 2022). This shift is driven by a growing understanding that perimeter-based security is no longer sufficient in the face of sophisticated cyber threats.

Enhanced identity and access management (IAM)

Identity and access management will become more sophisticated in 2024.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) will be the norm, not the exception, and businesses will employ more advanced methods like biometrics and behavioral analytics to verify identities. This enhanced IAM will be crucial in managing access to resources and ensuring that only authorized individuals can access sensitive data.

The IAM market is expected to grow from $12.3 billion in 2020 to $24.1 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate or CAGR of 14.4% (Markets and Markets, 2021). This growth underscores the increasing adoption of advanced IAM solutions like biometrics and behavioral analytics in zero trust architectures.

Micro-segmentation of networks

Businesses in 2024 will increasingly use micro-segmentation to split their networks into smaller, isolated zones. This approach limits lateral movement within the network, making it harder for attackers to access sensitive data, even if they penetrate the network’s outer defenses.

A study shows that micro-segmentation can reduce the cost of a data breach by up to 50% (Ponemon Institute, 2021). This statistic highlights the growing importance of micro-segmentation in enterprise security strategies, particularly in the context of zero trust.

AI and machine learning integration

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will play a significant role in zero trust frameworks by 2024. These technologies will help in continuously analyzing network patterns and user behavior to detect anomalies that might indicate a security threat, enabling quicker and more effective responses to potential breaches.

According to IDC, worldwide spending on AI is expected to pass $300 billion by 2026, with a significant portion of this investment aimed at enhancing cybersecurity (IDC, 2022).

This investment reflects the pivotal role AI and machine learning are playing in the evolution of zero trust security models.

Cloud security posture management (CSPM)

With businesses increasingly relying on cloud services, Cloud Security Posture Management will become an integral part of zero trust strategies.

CSPM tools will help businesses continuously monitor and manage their cloud security posture, ensuring compliance and reducing the risk of misconfigurations and other common cloud-based vulnerabilities.

Gartner predicts that by 2027, 80% of vendors will offer cloud security posture management or CSPM as a feature of their cloud security platforms, as compared with 50% in 2022.

This trend is a clear indicator of the increasing relevance of CSPM in zero trust strategies, especially as businesses continue to migrate to cloud environments.

Comprehensive endpoint security

Endpoint security will evolve to be more comprehensive in 2024. Businesses will adopt advanced endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions that not only protect against known threats but also use behavioral analysis to detect unknown threats. This is especially important as the workforce becomes more mobile and remote.

The endpoint security market is forecasted to grow from $12.8 billion in 2019 to $18.4 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 7.4% (Markets and Markets, 2020). This growth is a testament to the rising need for advanced endpoint security solutions, including EDR, in the context of zero trust.

Regulatory compliance and Zero Trust

As zero trust becomes more mainstream, it will likely be intertwined with regulatory compliance. In 2024, we might see regulations that specifically require certain zero trust measures, particularly in industries handling sensitive data like finance and healthcare.

A survey by Deloitte revealed that 47% of organizations see aligning cybersecurity with regulatory requirements as a top driver for cybersecurity strategy (Deloitte, 2023). As Zero Trust models become more mainstream, their integration with regulatory compliance is likely to become more pronounced.

Education and training

Finally, the human element will remain a critical component of zero trust in 2024. Businesses will invest more in educating their employees about cybersecurity best practices. Regular training and awareness programs will be key in preventing social engineering attacks and ensuring that employees understand their role in maintaining the security posture.

A report by Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that global spending on cybersecurity awareness training for employees is poised to reach $10 billion annually by 2027, up from around $1 billion in 2014 (Cybersecurity Ventures, 2023). This significant increase underscores the crucial role of human factors in the success of zero trust strategies.

The state of Zero Trust in 2024

In conclusion, in 2024 Zero Trust security will be a comprehensive, dynamic approach to security, integrating advanced technology, strict access controls, and ongoing education to protect against the ever-evolving threat landscape.

For businesses, this means a more resilient, proactive stance against cyber threats, protecting their data, reputation, and ultimately, their bottom line.

Each of these data points and predictions is rooted in current trends and expert analyses, providing a credible glimpse into what zero trust might look like for businesses in 2024 — and beyond.

Ready to start or continue your Zero Trust journey? Get your free trial of Parallels Secure Workspace now and start 2024 off on the right foot.