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Enterprise IT Challenged by User Demands

Cisco’s Survey Explores the Changing Enterprise Security Landscape

Cisco announced the results of a survey exploring the security implications of social networking and the use of personal devices in the enterprise. Perhaps the most telling finding was that employees continue to work around restrictive corporate IT security policies.

Why do businesspeople, including senior corporate executives, continue to bypass their own IT organizations? Typically, the most common complaint is a lack of agility -- an inability to meet the business technology needs of internal stakeholders in a timely manner.

Another significant finding: 71 percent of the survey respondents said that overly strict security policies have a negative impact on hiring and retaining talented employees under age 30.

Conducted on behalf of Cisco by InsightExpress, the survey polled 500 IT security professionals across the United States, Germany, Japan, China and India. The results illustrate that the consumer influence on enterprise IT is growing and that more employees are bringing personal devices and applications into the network, presenting new business opportunities and security challenges.

Unrelenting Demand for New Business Technology

The survey explores the changing enterprise security landscape due to the evolving requirements of today's borderless networks, the benefits and drawbacks of accommodating an increasingly mobile workforce, and the challenges of protecting sensitive and proprietary data.

Highlights of the latest market study include:

  • More than half of the survey respondents have determined that their employees use unsupported applications – such as Social networking (68 percent), Collaborative (47 percent), Peer to peer (47 percent), Cloud (33 percent).
  • Nearly half (41 percent) of the respondents have determined that employees have been using unsupported devices, and more than one-third of that number said they have had a breach or loss of information due to unsupported network devices.
  • Despite these trends, about half (53 percent) of the IT respondents said they are likely to allow personal devices on the network in the next 12 months and 7 percent already support personal devices.
  • More than half (51 percent) listed "social networking" as one of the top three biggest security risks to their organization, while one in five (19 percent) considers it the highest risk.
  • Social networking tools are an unprecedented and highly beneficial tool for many parts of organizations, including human resources, marketing and customer service.
  • Nearly three out of four survey respondents said that overly strict security policies have a moderate or significant negative impact on hiring and retaining employees under age 30.

"Increasingly, unapproved and unmanaged personal devices in the corporate environment are hastening the need for more intelligent security management. These solutions must deal with difficulty of protecting individuals and corporations while providing a positive user experience and corporate data access from any device, anywhere, anytime," said Chris Christiansen, program vice president, Security Products and Services Group, at IDC.

Managed service providers and their cloud-based managed security service offerings can enable corporate IT leaders to be more responsive to the business technology needs of their internal and external customers -- by out-tasking routine networking applications and thereby freeing up staff time.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By David H Deans

David H. Deans is the Managing Director at the GeoActive Group. He has more than 25 years of experience in the Technology, Media and Telecom sectors.

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