Organizational Security, Employee Productivity, and AI: 1Password Gauges How Teams are Feeling in New Report

Organizational Security, Employee Productivity, and AI: 1Password Gauges How Teams are Feeling in New Report

By Alex Passett

Around the time of this year’s MSP Expo – part of what was an all-around incredible #TECHSUPERSHOW experience in Fort Lauderdale, Florida a couple months back – fellow TMC Editor and esteemed MSP Today content maestro Greg Tavarez penned a couple of stories regarding 1Password, a provider of enterprise password management solutions that has garnered widespread enterprise trust with its user-friendly platform and strong security features. (Read here about 1Password’s New Global Partner Program it recently debuted, and here to learn about the company’s acquisition of Kolide, known for its device health and contextual access management capabilities.)

Well, we’ve got additional 1Password-related updates to share, readers:

1Password has released new insights and recommendations as part of its annual State of Enterprise Security report. This one is titled “A Balancing Act: Security and Productivity in the Age of AI” and it covers findings from workers in North America, including IT security professionals.

The report highlighted how tech-world disruptions (particularly AI-driven ones) are striking a bit of an anomalous tone for the industry; AI is reportedly both lessening some tensions between organization security systems and rates of employee productivity, while also heightening those very same tensions in previously unforeseen ways.

According the official news release regarding 1Password’s report:

Employees are under increasing pressure to perform; to boost efficiency, they’re embracing generative AI, hybrid and remote work. These can prove beneficial, but they’re also often accessed via unapproved applications and devices. IT and security teams, subsequently, are having difficulty keeping up, even as their organizations face new urgency in a landscape constantly remade by mounting cyberthreats and disruptive technologies.

Here's a bit of a deeper breakdown.

  • 50% of those surveyed stated that it’s “almost impossible” to currently find the right balance between security and employee productivity (though they’re no doubt trying).
  • 69% admitted they’re at least “partly reactive” when it comes to security (due to being pulled in “too many conflicting directions” as technologies like AI proliferate).
  • 79% don’t feel current security protections will still prove adequate in a year or two, and more than 70% say single sign-on (SSO) tools are not a complete solution for securing an employee’s identity.
  • Furthermore, as a “shadow IT app creep” pervades the workforce (and, therein, potential new threat vectors), approximately 54% of surveyed employees admit to “being lax” about company security policies due to policy inconvenience, stringency, etc. (Editor’s note: While such concerns are valid, that obviously shouldn’t lead to a shirking of security protocols entirely. As the title of 1Password’s report itself says, a balancing act must be achieved.)
  • Finally, split work incentives are on the rise due to AI. A whopping 92% of surveyed security pros have lodged tug-of-war type of concerns; this is broken down into 48% being fearful of employees entering sensitive company data into AI tools, 44% believing AI systems might be trained with incorrect or malicious data, and 42% also worrying about employees falling for AI-strengthened phishing attempts that could lead to dangerous security consequences.
  • Yet the “ROI of AI” is proving to be valuable, too;  57% of employees confirmed that GenAI tools have saved them massive amounts of time, even if it risks violating company rules. (Editor’s note: Organizational systems must be in concert with one another. Security is important. Productivity is important. Players on both sides here are, in a way, also on the same side; stay secure and enhance day-to-day and week-to-week workflows. There might not be a magic one-stop-shop type of fix for every possible scenario here, but where is the balance achieved?)

Well, an apt response to this may rest in a closing quote from Jeff Shiner, 1Password’s CEO:

“Since the pandemic, employees have gained unprecedented flexibility in where and how they work, and that flexibility often extends to the apps and devices they use. Productivity has become paramount, leaving significant security challenges for IT and security leaders — who often feel like they don't have bandwidth or budget to keep employees secure. When it comes to security and productivity, it shouldn't be an either-or situation. Businesses and security providers alike need to deliver solutions that keep employees protected and productive — no matter how they prefer to work. When you secure your people, you secure your business.”

Check out the full 1Password report for yourselves here.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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