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Don't trust, verify! Survey finds the fastest growing apps are security tools

Don't trust, verify! Survey finds the fastest growing apps are security tools

With the Zero Trust framework, organisations are shifting their security focus away from traditional network strategies to perimeter-less approaches, reports Okta.

Since 2015, the average number of apps per company has grown by 43 per cent

The fastest-of-the-fastest growing apps focus on identity-driven security, indicating that companies are taking Zero Trust seriously, according to the latest Business @ Work report by Okta.

User-focused security apps dominate with KnowBe4, LastPass, and Proofpoint in the top three spots. KnowBe4, a security awareness training company, beat other apps by far with its 178 per cent year-over-year growth to claim the top spot.

KnowBe4’s rapid growth may be due to its fulfillment of a clear market need, says Okta.

It says an industry report found that nearly half of data breaches are due to employee error, yet only 49 per cent of survey respondents have ever participated in cybersecurity training at work.

“More and more businesses are realising that, with the rise in advanced and insider threats, not everything or everyone inside a network can be trusted,” says Graham Sowden, general manager, APAC at Okta.

“Adopting a new Zero Trust framework, organisations are leaving traditional network security strategies behind, and instead shifting to perimeter-less approaches, focusing on users, data, and locations. People – and their digital identities – are the framework’s foundation, and businesses are sourcing tools to help protect valuable user credentials."

Okta says regulation may also be contributing to the growth of security-focused apps.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), designed to strengthen and unify data privacy laws across Europe, went into effect in May 2018, with the threat of heavy fines for non-compliance. There is also the California Consumer Privacy Act, which regulates the personal data of residents of the most populous state in the US, that is scheduled to take effect in January 2020.

The adoption of LastPass, which stores encrypted passwords online, and Proofpoint, an email security and security awareness training provider, each grew over 100 per cent.  

Okta says the report is based on data from its customers from November 2017 to October 2018.

The report finds organisations of all sizes “have a growing app-etite”.

In the current tech-first environment, companies and employees alike want flexibility, as evidence by five of the top ten most popular apps being collaboration tools.

This year, Okta says it looked at the average number of apps two ways: first, year-over-year growth, and second, growth across the customer’s relationship with Okta.

The data was divided into data by large companies (2000 or more employees) and small/mid-sized companies (under 2000 employees).

“From every angle, we saw companies deploying more apps than they did in previous years,” the report states.

It found that large companies started their journey with a lower average than small/mid-sized companies, but caught up in under six months, then quickly surpassed the adoption average of smaller companies.

Three years out, larger companies are deploying 163 apps on average, whereas smaller companies deploy an average of 99.

Okta says one of the big trends they saw in the current report is the growing investment in HR tools.

Technology is changing the field of HR, says Okta. “Employee experience” is a major theme in this space, partly triggered by the growing influence of millennials and increasing transparency for the digital age.

Okta says its research shows companies are leveraging their HR systems in new ways, and investing in up-and-coming tools. Three of the top 10 apps by number of users are HR-related, with HR systems Workday and SAP SuccessFactors at numbers 2 and 8 respectively.

HR teams are now increasingly responsible for onboarding and offboarding users, a role traditionally owned by IT

HR teams are now increasingly responsible for onboarding and offboarding users, a role traditionally owned by IT.

They are using HR systems like Workday, Namely, and BambooHR as the source of truth for employee records, instead of older, on-premise directories. This eliminates manual, inefficient processes, which are typically error-prone and require ongoing back-and-forth between HR and IT.

New employees are only given access to relevant apps, and HR can instantly deactivate all access to corporate accounts (including native mobile apps) for exiting employees.

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Tags strategyprivacychange managementappssoftware developmentmillennialsworkdayOktacxDXGDPRemployee experienceleadershipcollaborationSuccess Factors

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