​Dell: Why context is key to securing the enterprise

“IT thinks it has only two options for security - turn the dial to 1 (open) or 11 (super secure).”

Common access management processes limit employee productivity and often force employees to find workarounds that expose organisations to greater risk.

That’s the overriding consensus of a global Dell survey, which reports that 91 percent of businesses believe their productivity is negatively impacted by security measures their employer has put in place.

However, if a business were to implement a context-aware security approach, replacing traditional, static access processes, 97 percent of IT professionals say they would see the benefits, including improved worker productivity without compromised security.

For the tech giant, context-aware security replaces static access processes with an approach that evaluates the context surrounding each access request, and adapts security requirements accordingly, delivering the level of security the business needs in real time based on an ever-changing threat landscape.

While nearly 100 percent of IT professionals surveyed recognise the benefits a context-aware security approach would bring, only 28 percent claim their organisations have fully embraced this approach.

More than 60 percent indicated that lack of awareness about context-aware security is the greatest barrier to adopting it in their organisation.

“It’s undeniable that IT staff, business professionals, and employees struggle with security,” says John Milburn, Executive director and general manager, Identity and Access Management, Dell Security.

“The business puts security first above employee convenience, and, right now, IT thinks it has only two options for security - turn the dial to 1 (open) or 11 (super secure).

“Context-aware security gives IT the ability to adjust the dial in real-time, giving users the convenience they desire without resorting to risky workarounds, and giving the security team the confidence they need to keep the organisation both safe and productive.”

According to the survey, more than 90 percent of business respondents use multiple passwords on a daily basis, with 92 percent of business respondents “negatively impacted” when required to use additional security for remote work.

When looking at changes made to corporate security policies in the past 18 months, more than half of business respondents say security’s negative impact on day-to-day work has increased.

Meanwhile nearly 70 percent of IT professionals say employee workarounds to avoid IT-imposed security measures pose the greatest risk to the organisation.

Consequently, 97 percent of IT professionals see the benefits in context-aware security, including the ability to prioritise threats based on context, the ability to gain visibility into the context when assessing risk and the ability to address changing security needs in real-time and assess threats based on potential level of harm.