SailPoint Market Pulse highlights data security storm brewing as cloud and BYOD take hold in the enterprise

Alarmingly, the survey reveals that while enterprises are embracing – and in some instances mandating – these new technologies, they do not have IT controls in place to properly manage them, putting themselves at an increased risk of a security breach. In fact, in the last year, 52 per cent of the respondents have experienced someone try to use company data or applications after they are no longer with the organisation and 46 per cent have had at least one security breach.

This increased threat profile has arisen as UK enterprises have fully embraced cloud and mobile: 75 per cent of enterprises use cloud based applications to support major business processes with 36 per cent of businesses citing they have mission critical apps in the cloud and 57 per cent saying they plan to put such applications in the cloud in the next three years. Cloud technologies are so advantageous that 49 per cent of enterprises now require IT decision makers to evaluate cloud applications as part of every software procurement process.

When it comes to mobile, 79 per cent of respondents allow employees to use their personal devices to access company data or applications at work whilst only 27 per cent automatically remove such data when the employee leaves the organisation. Perhaps most worrying, 40 per cent of respondents admitted to an inability to manage them as part of their identity and access management (IAM) strategy.

‘It’s no question that cloud and mobile are here to stay. But considering that our survey found the lack of IT oversight that exists, now is the time for IT to regain control,’ said Jackie Gilbert, CMO and founder of SailPoint.

‘In a business climate where enterprises know former employees have tried to access applications or breach protocols, companies cannot ignore the need for a holistic approach to IAM. As more and more enterprises mandate the use of cloud applications and open up their network to personal apps and mobile devices they need to have automated controls in place to monitor and manage user access. The threats of data theft, sabotage and reputation damage are very real. In a cloud enabled, mobile dominated world IAM is the front line in combating these threats.’

The 2013 Market Pulse Survey shows the stress IT organisations face as UK enterprises attempt the difficult task of proactively managing and monitoring user access across the incredibly dynamic IT environments of today’s business world. While more than half of businesses say they are ‘very successful’ in meeting their initial IAM objectives, these new technologies are creating cracks in that foundation. Of this year’s survey respondents:

    •    40 per cent believe that its ‘just a matter of time’ before another security breach occurs while at they same time;

    •    44 per cent admit that employees have read or seen company documents that they should not have had access to; and

    •    39 per cent believe that employees within their organisation would be prepared to sell company data if offered the right price.

‘While the survey found that these new technologies are adding to the risk, what is most concerning to me is that organisations are still struggling to get their identity house in order, regardless of whether it is managing access to key applications on-premises or in the cloud,’ continued Gilbert.

‘The hard truth for most organisations is that they do not have the controls in place over their user access privileges to meet the rapid adoption of cloud and mobile and this is creating a huge hole in their defences. The headlines are littered with examples of what happens when these holes are exploited. As businesses rush to capitalise on the undoubted business improvements that cloud and mobile can offer, they need an IAM strategy that governs user access while still enabling high levels of productivity.’

The 2013 SailPoint Market Pulse Survey, conducted by independent research firm Loudhouse, is based on interviews of 400 IT decision makers at companies with at least 5,000 employees. Respondents were spread evenly across the US and UK, and owned budgets of $606m and £665m respectively. To download the 2013 SailPoint Market Pulse Survey results, please visit: www.sailpoint.com/2013survey.

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