How businesses can deal with the third party app problem

Outsourcing and BPO

by Duncan MacRae| 01 May 2014

New poll shows rise in cloud-based and mobile apps employees is creating more islands of identity that are harder for IT to track and manage.

As many as 94% of IT security professionals use third party applications on their mobile devices for work, with 82% using up to 10 apps, according to a flash poll conducted at Infosecurity Europe2014, London, by Centrify, a specialist in unified identity services across data centre, cloud and mobile environments.

Darren Gross, EMEA director, Centrify, said: "Applications are now at the heart of corporate IT and have become a vital part of how employees get the job done whilst either in the office or on the move. Removing access to applications isn't an option - in fact it would create more problems than it would solve. But the risk for organisations is that the more cloud-based or mobile apps employees interact with, the more they create islands of identity that become harder for IT to track and manage.

"How do you authorise access for thousands of employees across multiple devices and platforms? Let alone de-provision them when they leave the company. Identity and access can often be overlooked, but unless enterprises can find a unified way to securely identify individuals, they risk their business coming to a shuddering halt," he added.

The poll also revealed that of the 169 people surveyed, 7% of security professionals do not believe it is their responsibility to protect corporate information held on their personal device. A further 8 per cent do not have a password or PIN enabled on the mobile device that they use for work purposes, potentially exposing organisations to risk. Surprisingly, despite repeated warnings about the risks posed by Wi-Fi networks, 52 of respondents said that they have accessed sensitive corporate information over unsecure networks at locations such as a coffee shop or airport.

Gross concluded: "As the poll shows, the majority of employees are now leveraging more and more applications on their mobile devices. We are now seeing a greater need than ever for unified security identity across multiple devices and platforms, which is why we have created a full suite of solutions - not only to bring security awareness to the enterprise but also provide the best-in-class tools to reliably protect a firm's personal data and applications from identity-related risks and attacks."

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