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Dell office logoDell has released the findings from its Data Security Survey which revealed IT decision makers are still not confident enough to encourage mobility or use of public cloud platforms.

Although the pattern over the last few years has been to broaden employee boundaries, increasing flexibility within the working environment, the survey demonstrated that a substantial number of businesses are resisting mobility due to security concerns.

The majority of businesses would claim cyber and cloud security sits at the top of the priority list, and whilst this might be the case, Dell’s survey has highlighted a number of deficiencies across the board.

Over the last 12 months the tech world has been lit up by numerous data breaches, hacks and leaks on both sides of the Atlantic. From TalkTalk to Ashley Madison to Kaspersky Labs, security has once more been highlighted as a major deficiency in the IT world.

Following a number of PR disasters for large scale enterprise throughout the world, 75% of decision makers agree that C-Suite recognises the importance of data security, though only 25% believe that the C-Suite is adequately educated about the issues to make informed decisions. The survey also highlighted that only 25% feel that their leadership has the ability to set suitable budget to tackle the challenges of data security over the next five years.

65% of mid-market companies are freezing plans to increase mobility within their workforce, with 67% resisting BYOD programmes, due to security concerns. The benefits of a mobility strategy, both from an employee satisfaction and productivity perspective, are well documented, though these statistics demonstrate security fears drastically outweigh the benefits. In fact, 82% of decision makers have made attempts to reduce mobility for employees, by decreasing data access points.

On the contrary, only 40% of respondents highlighted that they were actively interested in pursuing opportunities to increase employee mobility.

In terms of public cloud platforms, there does not appear to be a high level of confidence in offerings such as Google Drive. Almost 80% of decision makers said that they would not be confident in uploading critical data to the cloud, 58% highlighted that they believed the threat to be greater than 12 months ago, and 38% restricted access to public cloud sites within their organization.

Another area addressed by the survey is that of Shadow IT. Almost every business will have a strict IT policy in place, though there will still be a proportion of the workforce deems this to prohibit their working day. Despite the concerns of public cloud platforms, 83% of respondents acknowledge that their employees are using such platforms to store or share valuable data.

As these statistics demonstrate, most organizations have not identified the crossroads between security, assumed business risk and productivity, to most effectively enable the workforce.

“Security programs must enable employees to be both secure and productive, and this means enabling technology that helps them do their jobs,” said Brett Hansen, Executive Director, Data Security Solutions for Dell. “Companies can try to limit or prohibit public cloud use, but it’s more effective to use intelligent data encryption to protect corporate data wherever it may go, and reduce the risk of employees working around restrictive policies in order to be productive.”

While the survey demonstrates growth within the cyber and cloud security world, it also highlights a number of restrictions. On the positive side, security is now a priority throughout the business, as opposed to simply in the IT team. It also emphasises a slight overreaction from decision makers who have taken the move of reducing mobility and access to public cloud offerings; two areas which could increase an organization’s competitiveness in an already challenging market.

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