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Paradox - Enterprise leaders want more IT freedom and more security at the same time

By Ryan Morris-Reade
Wed 14 Jul 2021

Hysolate has released its latest enterprise security study that reveals enterprise IT and security leaders want more IT freedom and more IT security at the same time.

The study, The Enterprise Security Paradox: Simultaneous Calls for Increased IT Freedom and More Stringent IT Security, surveyed 200 enterprise IT and security leaders to get their views on enterprise priorities and found the office-from-anywhere hybrid model of work, is cuasing IT leaders to push for changes in IT to increase employee productivity while also calling for enhanced IT security measures.

The survey found 96% of respondents want more IT freedom, and 91% say enterprises also need to put more IT restrictions into place. Only a handful of the 200 respondents thought their companies employees were happy with current IT security policies, with 7% thinking their employees are satisfied with their corporate IT restrictions. The majority (93%) believe employees are actively working around IT restrictions.

With the rise of the gig economy, increased reliance on contractors has elevated concerns about corporate access for non-employees. 87% of respondents overall (as much as 100% in financial services) identified contractors as the single greatest threat when granting remote access to corporate resources.

Hysolate says the heavily increased reliance on a remote work model during the height of the pandemic has blurred the lines between work and personal time. Eighty-seven percent of respondents say employees being able to perform personal activities on their work devices would increase productivity. And 79% said such IT freedom would reduce employee frustration.

“At first glance, we were surprised to see that any given respondent was calling both for more IT freedom for workers and more restrictive IT security,” says Hysolate CEO, Marc Gaffan. 

“But as we dug deeper into the data, it became clear that these leaders recognise that employee satisfaction is of utmost importance, employee retention largely depends on it, and that IT plays a critical role in enabling productivity and keeping workers happy. And they also understand how crucial IT security is in preventing remote access by external parties, like contractors and others, from becoming a rogue way into the enterprise and also tunnel for data exfiltration. 

“Today, enterprises need to keep both at the top of the priority list,” he adds.

The findings of The Enterprise Security Paradox study demonstrate a significant shift in thinking from just one year ago when Hysolate, in conjunction with Team8, published their 2020 study, The CISO’s Dilemma: How Chief Information Security Officers Are Balancing Enterprise Endpoint Security and Worker Productivity in Response to COVID-19. In which respondents were also grappling with the questions of worker productivity and corporate security, but these were seen as competing priorities battling for prominence.

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