According to the 2020 Thales Access Management Index nearly one-third of organisations in Europe and the Middle East still see usernames and passwords as one of the most effective means to protect access to their IT infrastructure, two years after the inventor of the complex static password admitted they don’t work.
Surveying 400 IT decision-makers across Europe and the Middle East, the research found that the majority (57%) of IT professionals revealed that unprotected infrastructure is one of the biggest targets for cyber-attacks.
With the COVID-19 global pandemic causing many companies to work from home, IT departments are battling to provide employees with both security and convenience. Over two thirds (67%) of European IT leaders say their security teams feel under pressure to provide convenient access to applications and cloud services for users, but still maintain security – an indication they’re struggling to balance their digital transformation and security priorities. To this end, 96% believe that strong authentication and access management solutions can facilitate secure cloud adoption. Over three-quarters (76%) also revealed employee authentication needs to be able to support secure access to a broad range of services including virtual private networks and cloud applications.
While some organisations still rely on legacy authentication methods like usernames and passwords, growing awareness of the threats is prompting action with almost all (94%) organisations having changed their security policies around access management in the last 12 months. Staff training on security and access management (47%), increasing spend on access management (43%), and access management becoming a board priority (37%), have all seen an increased focus. This is set to pay off in compliance terms too, with nearly all (98%) European respondents admitting controlling who has access to their company’s data. This will help them meet data regulation requirements like GDPR.