Health IT managers struggle to balance cloud security with easy user access

The increasing number of workspace environments is challenging organizations with security as IT managers work to introduce more effective authentication methods.

Jeff Rowe | Mar 13, 2018 12:00 am

The increase in cloud applications and number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has led enterprises to re-evaluate their current security methods and put more updated measures in place.

That’s according to new research findings from Gemalto, a global digital security firm, which found that organizations in healthcare and other economic sectors are still failing to adopt security solutions, despite the growing concern of protection and options available.

According to a survey or more than 1,000 IT decision makers globally, a remarkable 92 percent of IT leaders have concerns about employees reusing personal credentials for work, leaving systems easier to hack into. To overcome this 70 percent of respondents believe that consumer authentication could be applied in the workplace.

Despite those concerns, the survey found a significant 61 percent of organizations have still failed to implement two-factor authentication to access networks. Moreover, of the 39 percent of staff in organizations using the authentication method, only 33 percent are actually required to.

“These findings clearly show that IT managers are struggling to balance the need for a simple and easy login experience with security,” said Francois Lasnier, SVP Identity and Access Management at Gemalto.

“While there is a need to make things easier for employees, there is a fine line to be walked. IT and business line managers would do best to figure out the risks and sensitivities associated with the various applications used in their organizations and then use access management policies to manage risk and apply the appropriate authentication method. In this way, they can ensure a convenient login experience for their users, while still maintaining access security.”

Gemalto’s research did reveal that 62 percent of organizations believe adopting better cloud access management tools will help simplify the login process for users. Additionally, almost three quarters said a consideration for implementing such tools was the desire to reduce the threat of large breaches.

“The rapid increase of cloud apps has brought organizations lots of benefits, but also caused a high degree of fragmentation in their ability to manage access security across numerous cloud and on-premises applications,” continued Lasnier. “Without effective access management tools in place, this is liable to lead to higher risk of breach, a lack of visibility into access events, regulatory oversight – and hamper organizations’ ability to scale in the cloud.”