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Are employees the greatest enemy to security?

anna smith
|Feb 16|magazine13 min read

There is no one-size-fits-all security solution to address the threat landscape today’s businesses face. Each organization has unique security obstacles and obligations. Billions of dollars have been invested into IT security solutions and increasing annual security budgets has been an imperative. In fact, 98 percent of business respondents reported they will spend over a million dollars in 2017, per a global study by Citrix and the Ponemon Institute. However, many of the systems and people in place are still not able to handle today’s threats.

Security threats increase as more devices crowd networks and as people have more freedom to work from anywhere, on any device. More devices, especially bring your own (BYO) devices are the new norm, and businesses need to put information security at the top of their priority list to ensure apps and data are secure no matter where they reside or are accessed. On top of this, businesses need skilled staff to plan how they will reduce risk and improve the security of their applications and data.

The global study by Citrix and the Ponemon Institute on IT security infrastructure found that less than half (48 percent) of survey respondents said their organization has security policies in place to ensure employees and third parties only have the appropriate access to sensitive business information. Not helping is that nearly 70 percent of business respondents said that some of their existing security solutions are outdated and inadequate.

Top security concerns confirmed in the study:

  • Poor security deployments: 70 percent said their organization had made investments in IT security technology that was not successfully deployed (e.g. shelfware).
  • Unapproved and rogue app deployments: 65 perceny of respondents said their organization is not able to reduce the inherent risk of unapproved applications – increasing risk, including from shadow IT.
  • Unmanaged data at risk: 64 percent say their organization has no way to effectively reduce the inherent risk of unmanaged data (e.g. downloaded onto USB drives, shared with third parties, or files with no expiration date).
  • Talent pool is small: Only 40 percent said their organization is successfully hiring knowledgeable and experienced security practitioners.

While there’s no silver bullet to fixing security business challenges, survey respondents shared that they believe there are solutions to help better manage security challenges:

  • Creating a unified view: 53 percent percent believe a unified view of users across the enterprise.
  • Becoming proactive: 48 percent percent answered an ability to keep up with new or emerging attacks.

Respondents also shared that some specific improvements can be made to reduce their overall risk:

  • Technology improvements: 65 percent believe an improvement in technologies will improve their overall security posture and reduce risk.
  • Staffing investments: 72 percent say an improvement in staffing will improve their overall security posture and reduce risk.

To learn more about the Ponemon Institute survey findings, visit our landing page or read the blog from Citrix vice president and chief technology officer, Christian Reilly.

These findings are the second installment of the global study from Citrix and the Ponemon Institute. The first report reviewed how business complexity is hindering security postures and adding to the shadow IT trend.

“Today’s constantly evolving cybersecurity threat landscape requires a new, more flexible IT security framework – one that extends beyond traditional fixed end-point security approaches to deliver threat detection and protection of apps and data at all stages. Citrix is committed to delivering such security for data at rest, in motion, and in use, " Tim Minahan, chief marketing officer of Citrix said.

 

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Read the January 2017 issue of Business Review USA & Canada magazine