New report shows COVID-19 has not slowed global Zero Trust Networking implementation

Oct. 28, 2020
Survey results released by Enterprise Management Associates and Pulse Secure reports that 60% of organizations have accelerated their Zero Trust projects during the pandemic, while only 15% have slowed down

SAN JOSE, Calif. – October 28, 2020 – Pulse Secure, the leading provider of Zero Trust Secure Access solutions, has announced that the COVID-19 pandemic has not impacted the adoption of Zero Trust technology globally. In fact, nearly two thirds of organizations (60%) said they have accelerated Zero Trust implementation during the pandemic, according to the Enterprise Zero Trust Networking Strategies: Secure Remote Access and Network Segmentation.  

The Enterprise Zero Trust Networking Strategies: Secure Remote Access and Network Segmentation, conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) and sponsored by Pulse Secure, surveyed more than 250 technology professionals. The newly published report examines how enterprises are moving forward with Zero Trust networking initiatives, where they’re being successful in doing so and how COVID-19 has affected the forward movement of those projects.   

The research found that the main difference between those who were successful in moving their Zero Trust initiatives forward were those that started out with formalized Zero Trust projects. Those that had dedicated budgets and formal initiatives (69%) were far more likely to continue accelerating those projects throughout the pandemic, while those that had ad hoc Zero Trust projects were more likely to stall progress or stop entirely.   

Organizations can download the report by visiting, and are encouraged to attend an informative EMA research webinar on the findings to be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, at 12:00 pm EST / 10:00 am PST by registering at  

“The global pandemic has had some profound effects on the enterprise - with remote working being rolled out on an unprecedented scale, increased leverage of cloud resources and applications, and the transition to greater workplace flexibility,” said Scott Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at Pulse Secure. “The findings indicate that organizations that advance their initiatives and planning towards Zero Trust process and technology implementation will be ahead of the digital transformation curve and much more resilient to threats and crises.”  

The research went further into enterprises’ efforts to bring about Zero Trust Networking in their environments. More than four out of five respondents (85%) have defined Zero Trust initiatives. However, less than half of them (42%) have received added budget for their projects. The projects that did receive added budget were more likely to persist through the pandemic. Enterprises were overwhelmingly positive about their success in pursuing Zero Trust Networking, with the majority (94%) indicating degrees of success; half (50%) labeled their efforts as successful and less than half (44%) of respondents indicating somewhat successful.  

Dedicated Zero Trust projects tend to be interdisciplinary, bringing together security and networking teams. In 45% of such projects, security and networking teams have a Zero Trust partnership in which they formally share tools and processes. In half of cases (50%), enterprises created a taskforce from both teams to pursue Zero Trust. The three primary ways in which they collaborated were by coordinating access security controls across different systems (48%), assessing access security control requirements (41%) and defining access requirements according to user, role, data, and application (40%).  

However, the survey found that collaboration is not without its own roadblocks. 85% of respondents in Zero Trust taskforces and partnerships found themselves struggling with cross-team skills gaps (33%), a lack of tools and processes that might facilitate collaboration (31%), and budget conflicts (31%).   

“Enterprises are clearly accelerating efforts to adopt Zero Trust networking initiatives,” said Shamus McGillicuddy, Vice President of Research at Enterprise Management Associates. “The survey shows that organizations that move forward with formal initiatives and budget are more likely to achieve implementation success and operational gain. We appreciate Pulse Secure’s support and sponsorship of this report that organizations can use to benchmark and progress their Zero Trust programs.”  

Additional key findings include:  

  • Prime Zero Trust Benefits:  When asked what they consider to be the prime benefit of Zero Trust networks, IT operations agility (40%), improved governance risk and compliance (35%), breach prevention (34%), reducing the attack surface (31%), and unauthorized access mitigation (28%) ranked among the strongest responses.   
  • Hybrid IT Remote Access: Respondents are applying hybrid IT requirements to Secure Remote Access requirements within their Zero Trust Network Strategy, while the majority (62%) wanted cloud application access, half of enterprises access to public and private cloud resources and applications.  
  • IoT Device Exposures: Respondents discussed their position towards IoT devices which cannot be provided with the user identities on which Zero Trust is based and how they intend to create access policies for them. Over a third (36%) said that devices would receive tailored access privileges based on function and characteristics; others said that all devices would receive a generic minimum level of access privileges (28%) and that untrusted devices would have limited network access with no access to high risk or compliance zones (23%).   

Survey Details   The research surveyed 252 technology professionals, including executive IT leadership (43%) and security managers (33%). The majority (54%) of respondents work in large enterprises and span industries with a concentration from professional services, manufacturers, software, retail and financial services. The survey had a majority (63%) of organizations based in North America, with over a third (37%) spread across Europe, primarily in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.   

To download the analyst research report, please visit For more information on Pulse Secure’s Zero Trust solutions, please visit  

About Pulse Secure   

Pulse Secure provides easy, comprehensive software-driven Secure Access solutions for people, devices, things and services that improve visibility, protection and productivity for our customers. Our suites and SaaS platform uniquely integrate cloud, mobile, application and network access to enable hybrid IT in a Zero Trust world. Over 24,000 enterprises and service providers across every vertical entrust Pulse Secure to empower their mobile workforce to securely connect to applications and information across the data center and multi-cloud while ensuring business compliance. Learn more at  

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