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IT Security Hinders Productivity and Innovation    [Date Added : 11/20/2017 ]
Most security teams use a "prohibition approach" of restricting user access to websites and applications, according to a study conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Bromium Research. However, this approach not only hampers productivity and innovation, but is a major source of frustration for users, according to the survey of 500 Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) from large enterprises in the UK, US and Germany.

The survey reveals that 88% of enterprises prohibit users from using websites and applications due to security concerns, with 94% investing in web proxy services to restrict what users can and cannot access. Unsurprisingly, these restrictions negatively impact user experience, with 74% of CISOs saying users have expressed frustration that security is preventing them from doing their job and 81% said that users see security as a hurdle to innovation.

Security could also be impacting customer's relationships and deals, the survey shows. CISOs report that they get complaints at least twice a week that work has been held up by over-zealous security tools. As a result, IT help desks are spending an average of 572 hours a year responding to user requests and complaints regarding access to websites.

All this frustration is creating an uneasy relationship between IT, security and the user, the survey shows, with 77% of CISOs saying they feel caught between letting people work freely and keeping the enterprise safe. A further 71% said they are being made to feel like the bad guys, because they have to say no to users requesting access to restricted content.

"At a time when competition is fierce, the risk of falling behind and being less productive is as big a risk to an enterprise as cyber attacks, " says Ian Pratt, president and co-founder of Bromium. "Security has to enable innovation by design, not act as a barrier to progress. Sadly, traditional approaches to security are leading to frustrated users, unhappy CISOs and strained relationships between workers and IT departments - all of which stifles business development, innovation and growth."

But Pratt says this is unacceptable in a world where time-to-market is a vital driver for business success. "We need to put an end to this catch-22 between security, productivity and innovation - things need to change."

These figures suggest enterprises need a new approach to security, notes the research report. With revenue, reputation and share price on the line, those who look to new approaches to security will not only protect the business, but have the competitive advantage.
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