A staggering three quarters (75 per cent) of CEOs admit using unauthorised IT applications - despite knowing the security risks of doing so, and no doubt having corporate policies that would make it a disciplinary offence, at the least, for other staff.
That's according to a new report by security firm Code42, dubbed the CTRL-Z Study 2017, which surveyed more than 800 IT decision makers (ITDMs) and 400 'business decision makers' (BDMs).
The report found that 75 per cent of CEOs and 52 per cent of BDMs admit that they use applications that are not approved by their IT department. Worryingly, 91 per cent of CEOs and 83 per cent of BDMs believe their actions could be considered a risk to their organisation.
When asked why they used these unauthorized applications, the majority of CEOs and BDMs picked ‘to ensure productivity' (80 per cent and 65 per cent respectively), followed by ‘because it makes my life easier' (59 per cent and 52 per cent), and ‘IT doesn't understand what I need to get my job done' (25 per cent and 27 per cent). Only a quarter of CEOs and BDMs said they used the unauthorised applications or programs in their personal life.
But despite the wide use by many CEOs and BDMs of applications that haven't been authorised by the IT team, at least one in five (19 per cent) of CIOs and as much as a quarter of ITDMs (25 per cnet) do not believe anyone in their organisation has access to unapproved applications on their endpoint devices.
The majority (89 per cent) of ITDMs believed they had full visibility over all their corporate data, while 87 per cent of BDMs believe their IT team has full visibility about what they do with their files and where they save them.
This shows disparity between what both ITDMs and BDMs think is happening, and what is actually happening. Code42 said that while the majority of BDMs were aware of data security best practices, their main focus was on "getting the job done", and this means circumventing IT if procedure gets in the way of productivity.
The firm said that this is putting the enterprise at risk - proving that shadow IT still very much being an issue. Part of the problem is ‘security fatigue' - 58 per cent of ITDMs admit they have become desensitized to potential cybersecurity threats due to over-exaggeration and overexposure by security vendors and the media.
Computing's IT Leaders Forum 2017 is coming on 24 May 2017. The theme this year is "Going Digital: Why your most difficult customer is your best friend".
Attendance is free, but strictly limited to IT Leaders. To find out more and to apply for your place, check out the IT Leaders Forum website.
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