When it comes to enterprise security, companies are always trying to hit the right spot. The problem is that enterprises require employees to be at their productive best – that is, after all, what they are hired for and what they are required to. High employee productivity is a sign of a burgeoning, growing organization.
Unfortunately, employee productivity does not always go hand-in-hand with enterprise security which has increasingly become a key focus area for organizations. Enterprise security is important – without it, companies are at risk of massive financial and reputational damage through cyber attacks, data thefts, phishing and myriad other threats that exist in the cybersecurity landscape. Effective enterprise security basically means creating barriers, implementing programs and creating a system where information flow is slowed down or restricted – all of which can affect productivity.
Security at the expense of employee productivity?
Here are the findings from a survey conducted in 2017 –
- 76 percent of employees felt that their company prioritizes security at the expense of employee productivity
- 21 percent said the security put in place by their IT team slows down their work
- Another 21 percent felt it was difficult to keep up with changing security guidelines
Clearly, there is a standoff here because employees feel that their work is suffering due to the cybersecurity framework. Enterprise security solutions certainly do their job of securing the networks they protect but at some cost. This is an issue that needs to be handled with nous and compromise as one solution will not fit all.
A few ways in which the right balance can be achieved is through:
- Adopting a layered approach
Organizations must ensure that they put in place different layers of cybersecurity around their organization to ensure that they are well-defended. These layers could be in different forms, i.e. sandboxing, encrypting, Data Loss Prevention (DLP), etc, but the most important thing is that they continue providing a mix of different approaches. This also has the benefit of simplifying work for employees while staying protected
- Enable Single Sign-On (SSO) but with multifactor authentication systems
A step that goes a long way in balancing productivity and security, Single Sign-on (SSO) is a form of access control where users only need to log in once and then they can have access to multiple networks and resources. This means users can just sign in once and access the information they want, enabling productivity. However, enterprises must enable this combined with multifactor authentications in place to further bolster enterprise security.
- Invest in Automation
Different threats can have different attack points for an enterprise and even a single threat can attack different touchpoints in different ways. In this case, only relying on employees for protection may be fool-hardy. This is where automation can do a much more effective job. By understanding the predicted behavior and touchpoints of a potential attack, automation can create better protection measures across touchpoints suited to exactly the type of predicted attack.
- Invest in MDM solutions
In the age of the here and now, employee productivity is greatly dependent on the volume of freedom enterprises grant employees. While policies like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) allow greater flexibility and help enhance employee productivity, they may also impair enterprise security. Since much work happens on personal mobile devices, enterprises must invest in strong Mobile Device Management solutions for smarter protection. In this regard, they can consider solutions like Seqrite mSuite (a simple and comprehensive, yet powerful tool to manage mobile devices running on Android and iOS).
The balance between enterprise security and employee productivity is a tricky one and which requires customized thinking on the part of each organization. But by following some of the steps above, organizations can take the first step in securing that balance.