Illumio Zero Trust Segmentation Delivers Provable Risk Reduction and ROI


Blog By: Illumio | Raghu Nandakumara

It’s more important than ever to be able to prove the return on investment (ROI) for any cybersecurity spending. But security vendors don’t always make that easy, with claims that their products stop a certain (and always very high) percentage of attacks or guarantees to detect the majority of threats. When asked to explain how these claims are validated, the response is typically a load of circumbendibus.

Security vendors should be able to articulate how the security benefits their products deliver can be measured and confirmed. Furthermore, they should also be able to appreciate what ROI really means and provide concrete examples of how their customers realize returns.

Illumio customers have shared stories about how Zero Trust Segmentation delivers value, from five-nines availability to an 80% reduction in attack surface. But we wanted to quantify the value in terms of economic impact.

We commissioned the experts at Forrester Consulting to evaluate the cost savings and business benefits in the new study, The Total Economic Impact of Illumio Zero Trust Segmentation (ZTS).

What it means for ZTS to deliver ROI

Let’s start with some definitions. Specifically, to say that our Zero Trust Segmentation products deliver tangible ROI means that they:

  • Measurably reduce risk exposure and ensure breaches will be contained
  • Avoid the need for costly, infrastructure-dependent hardware or software appliance-based firewalls
  • Simplify design choices and enable a consistent approach to providing visibility and restricting lateral movement across hybrid environments
  • Deliver gains in operational efficiency through context-based, consistent, dynamic security policy that automatically scales with any organization’s estate

Bishop Fox: Illumio ZTS stops ransomware 400% faster than EDR alone

Over the last three years, we have partnered with independent, reputable third parties like Bishop Fox to prove that our beliefs about ZTS and the Illumio ZTS Platform are, in fact, true.

  • 2020: Bishop Fox’s Efficacy of Micro-Segmentation: Assessment Report showed how Illumio ZTS measurably slows down attackers by up to 22x and greatly enhances the chances of detection.
  • 2022: Bishop Fox’s Ransomware Scenario Emulation 2022: Assessment Reportdemonstrated how the Illumio ZTS Platform, specifically Illumio Core, improves detection capabilities, contains attacks, and limits the spread of breaches 4 times — or 400% — faster than endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions alone. Illumio Core stopped attackers from moving further in the network in less than 10 minutes.

These attack emulations by Bishop Fox validated that ZTS with Illumio “measurably reduces the exposure risk” of networks — and thus confirmed the security benefits the Illumio ZTS Platform delivers. Even if (and when) your perimeter is breached, with Illumio ZTS in place, you will drastically minimize the impact of breaches.

Forrester: Illumio ZTS delivers 111% ROI

This year, Illumio commissioned a Forrester Consulting Total Economic Impact study to validate the ROI and cost-saving benefits of Illumio ZTS.

The study combines Forrester analyst research, real-world data and insights from a diverse range of Illumio customers, and information from Illumio employees engaged in all aspects of pre- and post-sales cycles.

To arrive at their analysis of the costs and benefits of investing in Illumio ZTS, Forrester conducted in-depth interviews with six organizations about their experience using the platform. Forrester aggregated interviewee experiences into a single composite organization for the purposes of the study.

And the results are in: Forrester found that Illumio ZTS delivers 111% ROI and a net present value (NPV) of $10.2 million.

Exactly what benefits amount to 111% ROI and $10.2 million? Forrester broke down the key findings into the following benefits:

  • 66% reduction in the blast radius or impact of a breach
  • $3.8 million in savings by limiting downtime and a 90% reduction in unplanned outages
  • 90% decrease in operational effort by infosec teams to implement and manage segmentation
  • $3 million savings from tool consolidation and reduced firewall costs

The findings from this report are especially significant because, in addition to capturing the typical metrics of a standard ROI study, like the IT impact and the business impact, Forrester’s TEI study also accounts for the strategic impact and risk of adopting Illumio ZTS. This helps the report offer a wider perspective on the value of the Illumio ZTS Platform.

What Illumio’s customers told Forrester

“Without Illumio, we would have had to spend $31 million in new hardware to secure our environment. From a cost and logistics point of view, that was untenable.”

— Head of cyber defense, financial services

“Our MSSP told us that they had never seen any of their other clients shut down an attack in that short a period of time and as efficiently, which was one of the main reasons there was no exfiltration of any data from the firm.”

— Director of infrastructure, legal

“A big benefit of Illumio is that we can deploy it fast using our existing infrastructure. We used our built-in firewalls on each workload to achieve Zero Trust Segmentation in the server network. This was the fastest, most cost-effective way to achieve Zero Trust with the fewest amount of labor hours.”

— IT technician, manufacturing industry

“For me, the biggest benefit is the body of knowledge that Illumio has been able to provide to not only the infosec team but to the infrastructure and app development teams as well. Our app owners now have an idea of where and how their applications communicate and can address potential vulnerabilities.”

— Cybersecurity engineer, logistics industry

The value of Illumio ZTS is undeniable

To summarize what these efficacy and ROI analyses can mean for your organization, with Illumio ZTS, you can:

  • Prove ROI and see quantifiable security benefits by measurably reducing your risk and containing breaches.
  • Significantly reduce infrastructure spend and consolidate security tools.
  • Gain a simpler, more consistent, and scalable way to visualize connectivity and secure resources.
  • Improve operational efficiencies and productivity by reducing downtime and outages.

Download your copy of the Forrester Total Economic Impact (TEI) of Illumio Zero Trust Segmentation today.

Contact us today to learn how Illumio ZTS can help secure your organization while delivering meaningful, measurable ROI.