IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

New study reveals 51% of employees using unauthorised apps

By Catherine Knowles
Fri 1 Jul 2022

Cerby has released its study, conducted in partnership with Osterman Research, showing that 92% of employees and managers in large enterprises want full control over the applications they deploy for work-related purposes.

More than half of the business professionals surveyed, 51%, say they continue to use their preferred applications even if those are specifically prohibited by the employer, and 52% want their company or IT department to get out of their way.

The study illustrates the rise of unmanageable applications in the shadow IT universe technologies selected and onboarded by business units outside the purview of the IT department, and which don't offer security APIs or support industry standards like single sign-on, and break zero trust principles.

The study also reveals:

  • Three out of five employees and managers indicate that having an application blocked by their organisation would reduce their assessment of how much their employer trusted them, and this would negatively affect the way they thought about their job and/or organisation.
  • 25% do not want their IT or security departments to have final sign-off on the applications they use.
  • 19% of employees and managers who have a preferred work application blocked by their company or IT department ignored the ruling and continued to use the prohibited applications.

The current environment contributes to this trend. Many business professionals experienced a heightened level of empowerment with application choices during the pandemic organisations told an emerging remote workforce to do whatever it takes to maintain productivity, a radical departure from the traditional principle of using corporate approved applications only, the research states.

This COVID-fuelled urgency has become entrenched, and today, employees and managers alike don't want to give up the freedom. While the phenomenon of unmanageable applications is still an emerging trend, this is one of the first attempts to quantify the scale of the problem.

According to Cerby, there is a win-lose approach to application choice. On one side, most employees want to choose their own applications, without employer support or even involvement; on the other, companies want to establish policies and enforce them.

In fact, only one in five organisations have not yet established policies on application usage, and only 1% of respondents are entirely indifferent to their presence. In essence, enforcement of existing policies doesn't work. Employees go around the policies and use the applications they want, the research finds.

In this polarised environment, organisations will find that doubling down on a hardline approach of blocking applications, such as with popular controls such as Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) and Security Service Edges (SSEs), will likely fail.

Meanwhile, old problems remain. For example, password compromise is repeatedly cited as a major threat from phishing, credential stuffing, and password spray attacks. The study dives into this area and confirms many often assumed facts: 11% reuse the same password again and again; 14% change a password only when forced; and 12% still put passwords on sticky notes stuck to their PCs or desks. As for two-factor authentication, which provides great safeguards for passwords and credentials, 15% only use it when absolutely required, and 12% avoid it whenever possible.

Cerby co-founder and CEO Belsasar Lepe says, “There’s a chasm between the perception of organisational control over the technologies used for work purposes, and the reality of employees deploying their own preferred applications companies ignore this trend at their own peril.

"We all understand why employers disallow particular applications, but this isn't a feasible policy in the long term. There are new options available like the Cerby platform to strike a balance between employee application choice and employer priorities such as security and compliance.

"When registering their favourite applications is both easy and the right thing to do, the same employees who resent company-wide policies restricting applications become willing participants in strengthening security and ensuring compliance.”

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
‘Windows shops’ target admin rights to de-risk their environments
New data shows up to 75% of critical vulnerabilities could be mitigated through a rights and privileges crackdown
Story image
Collaboration
Hybrid working success relies on the return to office
A reluctance to return to the office is impacting a would-be hybrid working model, instead leaving businesses with a mostly-remote workforce.
Story image
Microsoft
8x more users attacked via old Microsoft Office vulnerability in Q2
"Criminals craft malicious documents and convince their victims to open them through social engineering techniques."
Story image
IDC
Collaboration app market revenue grows 28.4% year-over-year
IDC has found that global revenues in the collaboration applications market grew 28.4% year-over-year in 2021 to $29.1 billion.
Story image
Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric launches SM AirSeT in Australia
The new medium-voltage switchgear uses pure air and vacuum interruption, completely avoiding SF6 greenhouse gas.
Story image
Training
The Sydney Business School extends its SAS collaboration
The Sydney Business School at the University of Wollongong (UoW) has recently extended its collaboration with SAS in order to meet the growing demand for skilful business analytics professionals.
Story image
MarTech
CM Group recognised as Best Overall MarTech Company
MarTech Breakthrough has ranked CM Group as the Best Overall MarTech Company for the third year running and Cheetah Digital as Best Overall Marketing Campaign Management Solution.
Story image
Unified Communications
Gold Coast private hospital improves comms with Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise solutions
With further demands placed on health workers as a result of the pandemic, they need efficient and adaptable solutions that help them effectively serve their communities.
Story image
Ransomware
Sophos reveals latest ransomware trend impacting orgs
Sophos has announced in a new whitepaper that Hive, LockBit and BlackCat, three prominent ransomware gangs, consecutively attacked the same network.
AWS Marketplace
Learn how security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) enhances your security strategy.
Link image
Wiise
Discover why a localised cloud ERP is the way to go for Australian businesses.
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner unveils key emerging tech to watch in 2022
"Such technologies present greater risks for deployment, but potentially greater benefits for early adopters," says Gartner.
Story image
University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne implements data ecosystem with Talend
Talend has announced that The University of Melbourne (UoM) has selected Talend Data Fabric for its cloud data platform.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Fastly, INX, Kinly, SmartBear & Vectra AI
We round up all job appointments from July 29 - August 12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Appier achieves historically high growth rate of 56% YoY
"Our strong momentum over the past two quarters underscores Appier's significant growth alongside our customers."
Story image
Digital Transformation
Federated change is the best path to digital evolution
Businesses that can successfully manage the exponentially expanding masses of data produced by modern consumers will be the businesses that survive and prosper.
Story image
Data analytics
Pressure on orgs to up their data analytics game - study
A recent report from Sisense highlights data transmission, analysis, and risk management remain top concerns for data professionals in APAC.
Story image
Cloud Security
Tenable makes additions to Cloud Security portfolio
Tenable has announced additions to Tenable Cloud Security that represent the next step in assessing threats related to cloud vulnerabilities.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Is your chatbot bringing down the customer satisfaction score?
The top 10 reasons why chatbots are failing to meet customer expectations and what you must do to avoid that.
Story image
Lucid Software
Lucid Software expands enterprise offerings with enhanced slack apps
Lucid Software has expanded its enterprise offerings with enhanced slack apps for its Lucidspark and Lucidchart technology.
Story image
Data Protection
Advancing genomic sequencing and public health with digital infrastructures
Right before our eyes, we've witnessed the development of the COVID-19 vaccine in record time. An enormous achievement in an otherwise lengthy task that previously took, on average, 10-15 years.
Story image
Low-code
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Mendix
Mendix is a low-code platform used by businesses to develop mobile and web apps at scale, and Jornt joins us today to discuss how these offerings work, and what benefit they have in the development process.
Story image
JLL
Investment in APAC cold storage to reach $5 in next decade
Investment in Asia Pacific’s cold storage market is expected to grow fivefold in the next decade, according to JLL.
Story image
Blockchain
Australian Grand Prix uses CENNZnet blockchain for fan experience
CENNZnet was employed by Power'd Digital to deliver the Formula 1 Heineken Australian Grand Prix's 2022 AusGP Access program.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Why it is imperative to keep up with technology advancements
Technology is constantly evolving, which is why digital transformations can often be complicated. What legacy items stay? Will the new and old work together? Or is there a whole new system that we need to introduce?
Story image
Mobiles
Demand grows for future-proof mobile access solutions
HID Global, in partnership with IFSEC Global, recently released the 2022 State of Physical Access Control report for the fourth year running.
Story image
Collaboration
Lacework launches new capabilities for better threat detection
Lacework has announced new capabilities that enable organisations to uncover more critical threats to their infrastructure and empower teams.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Top tips for making your finance transformation program a resounding success
Planning to make 2023 the year you embark on a wholesale finance transformation program? It’s a move that will stand your enterprise in excellent stead as you navigate the complexities of the post-Covid business landscape.
Story image
Data
Workday research finds A/NZ organisations becoming leaders in digital agility
New research from Workday and IDC has revealed that Australia and New Zealand are becoming leaders in digital agility.
Story image
Malware
Kaspersky uncovers new attacks by advanced persistent threat group
The attacks involved modifications of the well-known malware, DTrack, as well as the use of a brand-new Maui ransomware.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
The essential guide to digital transformation by SolarWinds
Digital transformation is a buzzword thrown around all the time by companies, but what does it actually mean and why is it important? SolarWinds breaks it down.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Concentric AI protects sensitive data with new capabilities
The new capability reveals sensitive data shared across email and business messaging platforms and highlights who has inappropriate access to content.
Story image
Australian Defence Force
Cloudera and ADF partner for e-health management system
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has selected Cloudera as a strategic data partner to help transform its e-health management system.
Story image
Contact Centre
Treasure Data launches new customer experience functionality
Treasure Data has introduced a new strategic vision and product positioning for Customer Data Cloud, reflecting the company's focus.
Story image
Biometrics
Can biometrics help? 123% increase in Gen Zs scammed online
In the three years leading up to 2022, the number of Gen Zs who fell victim to online scams rose by 123%, according to Ping Identity.
Story image
DevOps
Dynatrace extends application security capabilities for runtime environments
Dynatrace has announced that it has extended its Application Security Module to detect and protect against vulnerabilities in runtime environments.
Story image
Email scams
HelpSystems shines light on impact of response-based threats
Response-based attacks targeting corporate inboxes have climbed to their highest volume since 2020, representing 41% of all email-based scams.
Story image
Customer experience
Scope Australia selects NICE CXone platform to streamline operations
One of Australia’s largest providers of disability support services, has chosen the NICE CXone platform to help streamline its contact centre operations.
Story image
Data Protection
Safeguarding your financial data
As the digital revolution marches on, managing data security has never been more important. Here are five important steps to take toward better financial data security.
Story image
Microsoft
Avast reveals zero-day exploits targeting Chrome and Microsoft
Avast, released its Q2/2022 Threat Report today, revealing a significant increase in global ransomware attacks, up 24% from Q1/2022.
Story image
consumers
Data protection: How SMEs can secure online consumers’ trust
Consumers believe how a company treats their data reflects how they treat their customers, according to a new survey.
Story image
Cybersecurity
CISOs need to consider a risk-based cybersecurity strategy
Rather than talking in terms of attack vectors and vulnerabilities, CISOs and security decision-makers must look at actual business risk.