According to new research from Thales, almost half (49%) of
businesses believe cloud apps make them a target for cyber-attacks.
Surveying 1,050 IT decision makers globally, Thales’
2019 Access Management Index1 revealed that
cloud applications (49%) are listed in the top three reasons an
organization might be attacked, just behind unprotected infrastructure
such as IoT devices (54%) and web portals (50%).
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2019 Access Management Index (Photo: Thales)
With cloud applications now a crucial part of day-to-day business
operations, the majority (97%) of IT leaders believe that cloud access
management is necessary to continue their cloud adoption. However,
despite four in 10 (38%) organizations appointing a CISO due to concerns
over data breaches in the past 12 months, and 79% of IT decision makers
stating that CISOs are responsible for selecting the solutions their
company has in place, just one in 10 (14%) are given the final decision
on cloud access management. In fact, companies are more likely to put
their faith in a traditional IT role, CIOs (48%) when dealing with this,
suggesting a disconnection between the decision-making and
implementation surrounding cloud security.
“Thales protects our customers’ business by enabling them to securely
access and use cloud applications. The 2019 Thales Access Management
Index findings clearly show concerns surrounding cyber-attacks when
deploying cloud applications. Trusted accesss to the cloud is key
to our customers’ digital transformation, but without adequate
investment in a dedicated CISO office, organizations will lack the
leadership required to implement the correct security strategy or
solutions to keep them secure in the cloud,” says Tina Stewart, vice
president market strategy for cloud protection and licensing activity at
Breaches bringing changes
Positively, the growing awareness of consumer data breaches has led to
organizations taking action; almost all (94%) have changed their
security policies around access management in the last 12 months. What’s
more, the biggest areas of changes have focused around: staff training
on security and access management (52%); increasing spend on access
management (45%), and access management becoming a board priority (44%).
Obstacles blocking access management
In spite of the updates to security policies, the majority of IT leaders
(95%) believe ineffective cloud access management is still a concern for
their organization. In fact, their biggest concerns are its impact on
security (48%), IT staffs’ time (44%) and on operational overheads and
IT costs (43%). Worse, when it comes to implementing access management
solutions, they cited costs (40%), human error (39%) and difficulty
integrating them (36%) as the biggest obstacles.
When it comes to cloud solutions, three-quarters (75%) of organizations
already rely on access management to secure their external users’ logins
to online corporate resources. In particular, two-factor authentication
is the most likely (58%) tool to be seen as effective at protecting
cloud and web-based apps, followed by smart single sign-on (49%) and
biometric authentication (47%).
Stewart concludes: “While organizations are getting to
grips with access management solutions, IT and business decision makers
must ensure they understand the risks to their cloud solutions in order
to implement the relevant ones. These solutions must be perimeter-free,
compatible with a zero-trust model and flexible and adaptive in order to
make the most of the latest technologies such as Smart SSO. Without
effective access management tools in place organizations face a higher
risk of breaches, a lack of visibility and incur extra costs from poorly
For more information, attend our Global
Trends in Cloud Access Management, Single Sign On and Authentication
taking place on July 25th or visit the 2019
Thales Access Management Index.
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1The 2019 Access Management Index, is a survey of 1050
executives in 11 countries with responsibility for, or influence over,
IT and data security. The survey, reporting and analysis was conducted
Bourne, commissioned by Thales.