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Nearly two-thirds of IT leaders expect a serious data breach

Many organisations need to update IT systems to ensure business operations are both truly agile and secure, a report has revealed

Nearly two-thirds of IT leaders expect a serious data breach in the next year, a secure business agility survey of 300 businesses in the UK, France, the Nordics and the Netherlands has revealed.

While most organisations believe connecting people to the best technology is vital to business productivity, many struggle to achieve agility because of traditional on-premise security thinking, according to the survey report by identity and device management firm Okta.

Failing to adapt and upgrade security tools is putting organisations at risk, the study shows, with 65% of respondents expecting a data breach within the next 12 months if they do not upgrade legacy security systems in time.

“In order to be more productive, organisations worldwide are investing in cloud and mobile technologies, enabling their staff to work from virtually anywhere,” said David Baker, chief security officer at Okta.

“But this isn’t enough to ensure true agility. As organisations become increasingly connected, the traditional idea of the enterprise network boundary is vanishing and businesses need to prioritise strong security,” he said.

To navigate the new perimeter successfully and avoid compromising on security and productivity, IT leaders need to adopt tools that span traditional company and network boundaries and enable agility across the organisation, said Baker.

The survey also revealed that organisations are unsure whether security is enabling or compromising productivity and agility. When asked whether security measures compromised or enabled productivity in their organisation, respondents’ opinions were mixed.

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Just over half (52%) said their current security systems compromised productivity, while 48% thought their security measures enabled the organisation to adopt best-of-breed solutions that enabled productivity and agility.

Visibility into application usage is limited, the survey shows, with 85% of IT leaders unable to see who has access to applications within their organisation, while 80% of respondents said weak passwords or weak access controls were a security issue.

Investing in new mobile, automation and cloud technologies is paying dividends for organisations, the survey shows. But 92% of respondents said their organisation could do more to integrate and support cloud applications into their infrastructure and systems.

This reveals a big opportunity for IT teams to further drive agility and productivity, and the chance to drive this percentage down, the survey report said.

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