Do conventional security measures negatively impact productivity?

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91 percent of business respondents reported that their productivity is negatively impacted by security measures their employer has put in place, according to Dell. However, if a business were to implement a context-aware security approach, replacing traditional, static access processes, 97 percent of IT professionals say they would see the benefits, including improved worker productivity without compromised security.

Context-aware security replaces static access processes with an approach that evaluates the context surrounding each access request, and adapts security requirements accordingly, delivering the level of security the business needs in real time based on an ever-changing threat landscape.

While nearly 100 percent of IT professionals surveyed recognize the benefits a context-aware security approach would bring, only 28 percent said their organizations have fully embraced this approach. More than 60 percent indicated that lack of awareness about context-aware security is the greatest barrier to adopting it in their organization.

Additional notable survey findings:

  • More than 90 percent of business respondents use multiple passwords on a daily basis
  • 92 percent of business respondents are negatively impacted when required to use additional security for remote work
  • When looking at changes made to corporate security policies in the past 18 months, more than half of business respondents say security’s negative impact on day-to-day work has increased
  • Nearly 70 percent of IT professionals say employee workarounds to avoid IT-imposed security measures pose the greatest risk to the organization
  • 97 percent of IT professionals see the benefits in context-aware security.

Traditional security approaches address point-in-time risk with security implemented in silos. Separate passwords for everything – layered with multifactor authentication – plus separate security measures for remote workers, BYOD, and protection against outside threats result in poorly implemented security that obstructs productivity and exposes the business to risk from employee workarounds. Security doesn’t have to trump employee productivity.

A context-aware approach alleviates mismanagement of access issues by focusing on the context of the access request to ensure access is appropriate in real-time. IT gains the ability to automate and “step-up” to multifactor authentication when the context dictates for an informed, priority-based decision specific to the situation.

In addition, multiple passwords (or authentication actions) can be unified to present the user with a seamless access experience that maintains all the security that business and IT demand without negatively impacting employee productivity. Implementing a context-aware security approach helps businesses change security from a productivity barrier to a business enabler.