A visitor photographs a symbol of a cloud at the CeBIT 2012 technology trade fair in Hanover, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Appgate this week released independent research from the Ponemon Institute that found 60% of IT and security leaders are not confident in their organization’s ability to ensure secure cloud access.

The study also found that organizations face myriad barriers to securing diverse cloud environments, with some of the top challenges being network monitoring/visibility (48%), in-house expertise (45%), increased attack vectors (38%), and siloed security solutions (36%).

Another 62% also said traditional perimeter-based security solutions are no longer adequate to mitigate the risk of threats to cloud environments, such as ransomware, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, insider threats, and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Appgate’s study also found that zero-trust network access (ZTNA) can address these challenges and accelerate an organization’s cloud transformation. Respondents that have adopted a zero-trust strategy reported the following benefits: increased productivity of the IT security team (65%); stronger authentication using identity and risk posture (61%; increased productivity for DevOps (58%), and greater network visibility and automation capabilities (58%).

Organizations often underestimate the complexity of their network when they implement zero-trust, said John Yun, vice president, product strategy a ColorTokens. Yun said these organizations overlook how quickly they can recognize the benefits of zero-trust and don’t plan for incremental milestones.

“The ability to simplify complex network topology, define critical policies for network nodes, and relationships between applications are all critical functions required to quickly deploy and recognize values to build upon,” Yun said. “It’s often not a task that can be completed in its entirety overnight. These challenges delay the initial ramp up of zero-trust initiatives and many organizations lose steam, resulting in organization’s pausing to reassess their approach for them to recognize incremental benefits.”