SailPoint survey shows employees’ habits expose growing risk amid the digital transformation

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Annual market pulse survey finds nearly 50% of employees are using AI chatbots and personal assistants for work efficiency.

The results of the 10th Annual Market Pulse Survey from SailPoint Technologies Holdings, Inc., expose an alarming trend. Despite an increased focus on cybersecurity awareness in the workplace, employees’ cybersecurity habits are getting worse, compounded by the speed and complexity of the digital transformation. Of the 1,600 global employees surveyed, 75% of respondents admitted to reusing passwords across accounts, including work and personal, compared to 56% who admitted to doing so in 2014, when SailPoint first posed the question.

Organisations are at varying stages of the digital transformation, and that evolution has presented an increasingly complex IT environment to manage securely. Yet this year’s Market Pulse Survey findings points to a workforce who are less committed to online security. This has not only introduced further risk, but also a sense of frustration between the IT team, trying to secure and enable the business, and users who want to work more efficiently. Over half of survey respondents stated their IT department can be a source of inconvenience in their organisation. This leads to employees skirting IT policies, such as the 31% who admitted that they have deployed software without IT’s help.

Efforts to get around IT may not necessarily be done with malicious intent, but the reality is they directly increase IT risk for the organisation. For example, 13% of employees admitted they would not immediately notify their IT department if they thought they had been hacked. Further compounding this issue is a workforce that tends to not understand the role of all employees in keeping an organisation secure. The survey shows that 49% of respondents would actually blame the IT department for a cyberattack as a result of an employee being hacked.

However, it’s not just today’s employees exposing organisations to risk. As the digital transformation blurs the traditional security perimeter with cloud apps, it is also redefining the definition of a “user”. Enterprises are increasingly adopting software bots powered by robotic process automation (RPA), and granting them access to mission-critical applications and data. Nearly half (48%) of respondents are currently using or planning to use chatbots and artificial intelligence personal assistants, with 13% already using these in their organisation to increase their work efficiency.

Juliette Rizkallah, CMO at SailPoint, said: “to secure and enable today’s modern workforce, the users have become the new ‘security perimeter’ and their digital identities are the common link across an organisation’s IT ecosystem at every stage of its digital transformation”. Rizkallah continued by describing how, “taking an identity-centric approach to security, IT can gain full visibility and control into which applications and data users, including both human and non-human bots, are accessing to do their jobs. This approach allows enterprises of all sizes to confidently address the tension between enablement and security exposed in our Market Pulse Survey.”

To learn more about how an identity-centric approach to security can help global enterprises address the issues highlighted in this year’s Market Pulse Survey, please join the webinar “Balancing Efficiency and Security in Today’s Enterprises,” on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 10:00 am CT. You can register for this seminar here.


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