IT admits obstacles to user mobility due to security concerns

Organizations are challenged to meet demands for greater mobility as 92% of IT departments worldwide still restrict users from accessing sensitive corporate data and resources from mobile devices, according to a global survey of 900 IT decision makers by Gemalto.

Despite 98% of organizations having users who require mobile or remote access, 95% of IT departments are facing obstacles to increased user mobility in their organization, the primary being security concerns.

94% of respondents re concerned that their organization will be breached or hacked as a result of credential theft or compromise. This is exacerbated by the rise in mobile endpoints within organizations, as most organizations reported to have, on average, two mobile end points per user and managing three sets of credentials per user. Additionally, on average, one out of every five (20%) IT support tickets are resulting from lost or forgotten usernames and passwords.

In an effort to overcome the security challenges around mobility, the majority of IT departments (86%) plan to implement two-factor authentication for access to cloud applications. Currently, 38% of users utilize two-factor authentication, this is expected to rise to over half (51%) of users using it in two years. 57% already use two-factor authentication to secure external users’ access to resources, indicating the varied use of the technology. 92% respondents currently have at least one application protected by two-factor authentication, with cloud applications, web portals and VPNs among the top three apps protected.

As IT continues to look to two-factor authentication to deal with the credentials crunch, 91% of respondents are seeking to do this by using cloud-based authentication-as-a-service and managing their organization’s two-factor authentication centrally. By having the ability to implement uniform policies that address security threats in a consistent way, two-factor authentication can at the same time streamline access to numerous applications.

In addition, cloud efficiencies are a critical factor in being able to deploy two-factor authentication across multiple use cases and implement solutions quickly and efficiently. Indeed, 90% of respondents view cloud delivery as a key consideration in the purchasing process of a strong authentication solution.

Importance of mobility:

  • Almost all (97%) respondents’ organizations recognize it is important to offer mobility to employees in their work practices.
  • The number of users utilizing tokens for mobility in respondents’ organizations looks likely to increase across the board – on average, 37% of users in respondents’ organizations are currently using them for mobility with this figure expected to increase to 46% on average, in two years’ time.

The role of cloud in the purchasing decision:

  • Cloud is also significant factor when it comes to choosing the preferred delivery model of two-factor authentication with 90% agreeing that cloud delivery as a key consideration in the purchasing process of a strong authentication solution.
  • When it comes to the final purchasing decision however, over half the organizations reveal that this decision lies with the CIO, with the CSO, CCO, CEO and CFO all likely to be involved in the process as well.
  • The total cost of ownership is, according to 20% or respondents, the most significant consideration when deciding which two-factor authentication solution to select.

Security threats and compliance:

  • Almost all (95%) respondents think that it is important that their organization has the ability to produce a single audit trail of access events taking place throughout different resources
  • The vast majority (95%) of respondents think that two-factor authentication can help their organization comply with data protection regulations and pass security audits.