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January 10, 2023

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According to new research released Tuesday, many employees and managers in the United States and United Kingdom value trust in the workplace more than financial compensation.

A survey of 500 workers and managers in the US and UK by Osterman Research for cybersecurity firm Cerbi found that nearly half of participants (47%) said they would take a 20% pay cut in exchange for higher trust by their employer.

Other characteristics the researchers found highly prized by employees included flexibility (48%), autonomy (42%), and being able to choose the applications needed to work effectively (39%).

The State of Employee Trust Report by Osterman and Cerby examines the impact of zero-trust principles that many companies are increasingly adopting as a solution to their cyber security needs as a result of the use of “unmanageable applications” by workers and managers.

“Apps are closely linked to the level of employee engagement and empowerment. If employers try to block apps, which they often do, it negatively affects trust,” in San Francisco said Matt Chiodi, chief trust officer at Cerbi, a zero-trust architecture provider for unmanaged applications located at .

“Sixty percent of employees said that if an application they want is blocked, it negatively affects how they feel about the company,” Chiodi told TechNewsWorld.

“The answer is not for employers to block these apps, but to find solutions that allow these unmanageable apps to be managed,” he said.

fret over control

Security teams resent the use of unmanaged applications, also known as shadow IT, for a number of reasons. “Employees come and go. An organization can end up with thousands of unused credentials accessing its resources,” explained Szilwezter Szebeny, CISO and co-founder of Tresorit, an email encryption-based security solutions company in Zurich.

“With a mountain of passive access, hackers are bound to find something that will go unnoticed and pave the way for them to infiltrate the organization through lateral movement,” Szebeny told TechNewsWorld.

Unsupportable applications can put an organization at risk because it has no control over the security practices imposed on the programs’ development and management, said John Yoon, vice president of product strategy at ColorTokens, an autonomous zero-trust cybersecurity solutions provider in San Jose. Caliph.

“In addition, the organization has no oversight of the applications’ security update requirements,” Yoon told TechNewsWorld.

Without any control over the application, organizations can’t trust it with access to their environments, said Mike Parkin, a senior technical engineer at Vulkan Cyber, a provider of SaaS for enterprise cyber risk prevention in Tel Aviv, Israel.

“Letting employees choose the best tool for the job, especially when it’s running on their own device, is welcome,” Parkin told TechNewsWorld.

However, he stressed, “this requires some compromise with the organization choosing the application and the employees willing to give up if their preferred app is not on the approved list.”

Clearwater, Fla. Roger Grimes, data-driven defense evangelist at KnowBe4, a security awareness training provider in the U.S., took a hard look at the issue.

“It’s up to an organization’s cybersecurity risk managers to determine whether the risks incurred are worth the benefits,” Grimes told TechNewsWorld. “You don’t want the average end user to decide what is or isn’t risky for the organization any more than you want the average passenger flying an airplane.”

worth the risk?

The applications are considered unmanageable because they often don’t support common security measures, such as single sign-on and automatically adding or removing users, Chiody explained.

“It presents a risk to a business, but business users still need those applications,” he said. “Businesses need to find ways to get those applications to the point where they can be managed, so that those risks are reduced.”

Labeling applications unmanageable is misleading, says Marcus Smiley, CEO of Epoch Concepts, an IT solutions provider in Littleton, Colo.

“They’re built without support for modern, industry security standards, which makes them harder to monitor and secure,” Smiley told TechNewsWorld, “but means they can’t be managed like other applications.” , they can be managed in different ways. ,

“When unmanageable applications are being used, there is always some reason,” he said. “Many organizations need better communication between IT and employees to clarify company policies and the reasons behind them.”

“IT should also provide channels for requesting applications and be proactive in providing more secure options for problematic ones,” he added.

Smiley said that in some situations, allowing unmanaged applications with oversight is appropriate to ensure that best-identity-management practices and more secure configurations are implemented instead of less secure ones.

“Ultimately, there is no such thing as a risk-free cyber security strategy,” he added. “Every security program – even those that fall under zero trust – involves trade-offs between mission-critical business functionality, productivity and risk.”

balancing act needed

The safest approach is to have any application reviewed prior to adoption by an individual or team with cyber security expertise to identify any issues that may arise from the use of the software or service, ensure that Assuming the legal terms are acceptable, as well as a plan for ongoing maintenance, recommended Chris Clements, vice president of solutions architecture at Cerberus Sentinel, a cybersecurity consulting and penetration testing company in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“Unfortunately, many organizations do not have the expertise or resources to properly assess these risks, resulting in the process not happening at all, or as bad, taking weeks or months,” Clements told TechNewsWorld. which hurts employee morale and productivity.” ,

“Balancing cyber security risk with employee needs is a practice that organizations need to take more seriously,” he said. “Allowing a Wild West approach will inevitably introduce cyber security risks. But on the other hand, being overly rigid can lead to choosing product or service solutions that heavily compromise usability and user convenience or completely Deny approval from.

“These can create frustration and lead personnel to leave the organization or actively subvert security controls,” he continued.

Misusing zero-trust principles can also add to that frustration. “Zero trust is for data, access, applications and services,” Chiodi argued. “But when it comes to building trust on the human side, companies should aim for higher trust. The two are not mutually exclusive. It’s possible, but there’s going to be a shift in how employers use security controls.”

“By giving employees technology choices, companies can show that they trust their employees to make technology decisions that help them do their jobs better,” says Allegro Solutions, a cybersecurity consulting company in West Hartford, Conn. Principal Karen Walsh said.

“By reinforcing it with education around the mindset of compromising,” they build a stronger relationship with the members of their workforce, Walsh told TechNewsWorld.