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Enterprise device complexity hinders security, says Absolute

Security is being hindered by the increased complexity of business-level device environments and networks, according to a new report.

user icon Daniel Croft
Wed, 26 Apr 2023
Enterprise device complexity hinders security, says Absolute
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Absolute Software has released its 2023 Resilience Index, concluding that the deployment of more security devices is actually hindering network security, contrary to popular belief.

The report analysed the data of 14 million devices from around the world, making a number of findings that could provide insight for businesses looking to become more cyber secure.

According to Absolute, enterprise devices have an average of 67 apps installed, with 10 per cent of devices having over 100 apps installed, dramatically increasing complexity.

It is commonly believed that more security applications mean more security, leading to organisations spending a considerable amount on a wide range of security solutions.

“We are spending tens of billions of dollars annually on endpoint security alone. In turn, it’s not surprising that there are more than 11 security applications installed on the average work-issued laptop,” said Absolute in the report.

The report continued, concluding that the fact that enterprise devices have more than one application installed to deal with essential security “indicates that many organisations lack insights into the software inventory across their device fleet, are running more software than is needed, or simply believe that the more tools deployed, the safer they are”.

Furthermore, the post-COVID-19 work-from-home model is having a considerable effect on enterprise cyber security, largely due to the dramatic increase in complexity.

With the number of devices being used and the programs they have installed becoming less and less homogenous as staff use their own devices, IT and security staff are having a harder time managing and diagnosing security issues.

“As an example, more than 80 per cent of devices use the Microsoft® Windows® OS, with the large majority on Windows 10,” said Absolute.

“At first glance, this might appear homogenous and easy to manage; however, the reality is that IT practitioners are struggling to keep their employees’ endpoints up to date with 14 different versions and more than 800 builds and patches present.”

When remote work sees staff working overseas, security and network management become increasingly complex and difficult.

“Remote employees’ multiple locations add further to this already significant level of complexity,” said Absolute.

“They are now performing significant work on networks their organisations do not own or control, which dramatically increases an organisation’s risk exposure.

“And even within locations, users may often switch between devices and networks — from a laptop on their favourite coffee shop’s Wi-Fi to a mobile device on a carrier’s cellular network, all while trying to run a productive online meeting on the drive back home, for example.”

For more information and the full report, head to the Absolute website here.

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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