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Legacy Tech Poses a Challenge to Zero Trust Adoption, While Risk Management Needs Continue to Drive its Advancement

Execs look to Zero Trust to help manage third party, data protection, and identity and access risks

NEW YORK, April 19, 2023 – C-suite and other executives at organizations adopting Zero Trust say complexity and compatibility issues with legacy systems and environments pose the greatest challenge to adoption (44.6%), according to a new Deloitte poll. Yet, Zero Trust adoption efforts at polled executives’ organizations will be driven in the year ahead by an expected increase in cyber threats (30.1%) and the need to better manage third-party risks (25.1%).

“Adopting Zero Trust can help organizations secure both legacy and modern applications, data, networks, and devices, which can help effectively manage an increasingly complex cyber threat landscape,” said Andrew Rafla, Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory’s Zero Trust offering leader and a principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP. “While legacy environments can challenge Zero Trust adoption, they are also a primary driver for transformation. You cannot replace a mainframe over night, but you can rapidly change how that environment is accessed to significantly reduce risk. It is also possible to reduce friction for end users by limiting disruption to their native experiences and enhancing IT operational efforts associated with the adoption of modernized controls.”

Within Zero Trust adoption programs, respondents are most likely to prioritize enhancements focused on data security (26.1%) and identity and access management (21.5%)—outlining the importance of responsibly handling data, protecting privacy and implementing modernized access controls within the enterprise.

“Zero Trust managed services and solutions can help organizations replace virtual device infrastructure (VDI) for third-party access, enable data security for both local applications and SaaS solutions, embrace a flexible bring your own device paradigm and help realize material cost savings,” said Chalan Aras, a Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory managing director focusing on Zero Trust, Deloitte & Touche LLP. “Working with a managed service provider can help enable accelerated and efficient Zero Trust transformation by combining advanced technological capabilities with deep functional and industry knowledge—allowing organizations to confidently operate amidst an evolving threat landscape.”

Learn more about Deloitte’s Zero Trust advisory, implementation, and managed service offerings here.

About the online poll
More than 350 C-suite and other executives from organizations adopting Zero Trust were polled online Jan. 31, 2023, during a Deloitte webcast titled, “Is Zero Trust the way?”. Answer rates differed by question.

About Deloitte
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500® and more than 7,000 private companies. Our people come together for the greater good and work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today’s marketplace — delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthier society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them. Building on more than 175 years of service, our network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. Learn how Deloitte’s approximately 415,000 people worldwide connect for impact at

Media contacts

Shelley Pfaendler
Public Relations
Deloitte Services LP
+1 212 492 4484

Taylor Graham
Public Relations
Deloitte Services LP
+1 410 576 6707

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