Balancing Security and Productivity Amidst the GenAI Era

In this post:

  • The tension between security and productivity intensifies with the proliferation of disruptive technologies.
  • The number of tools, technologies, and access has only increased, putting the IT and security teams in a tough fight to maintain robust security.
  • Shadow IT poses the maximum danger to organizational security; hence, there is a need for more vigilance and enforcement of security protocols.

The security objective in the past was to ensure the maximum security of the organization and keep it as safe as possible. Furthermore, productivity empowered these businesses by increasing employees’ ability to work optimally and accurately. Nevertheless, the digital world does not stay the same, and the recent development of AI has given rise to the complexity of the security vs. productivity balance issue. 1Password’s recent report highlights the increasing tendency among employees to bypass corporate guidelines to use equipment that generates GenAI and other equipment aimed at job performance improvement.

Striking a balance amidst tech expansion

An alarming 50% of security employees said finding a balance between the required security protocols and employees’ productivity is almost impossible. Indeed, most of them were ready to confess that they were mostly adopting a reactive approach to security, pinning such a position on the many conflicting demands they had to deal with. Added to that is the growing shadow IT, which involves using apps and tools not authorized by the company.  Moreover, 69% of respondents mentioned “being reactive” as their stand towards security since their responsibilities on the field are a mixture of many related conflicts.

The rising problem with shadow IT is getting out of hand since a third of employees directly and unconsciously admit to using it for work. The development of these unauthorized tools creates a new line of participants in cyber attacks, and this adaptation represents a broad-based threat. Additionally, it is quite disturbing that almost 17% of employees use personal computers and public devices, which certainly extends the vulnerability.

Generative AI: Enhancing efficiency, amplifying risks

“Generative AI” brings another dimension into the security/productivity debate. Additionally, 57% of the security personnel feel that the use of AI tools can save time, but concerns are wide-ranging regarding the security impact of such tools. There is a sharp rise of 92% in the concerns where AI could be considered a security threat and the dangers that might come from its fraudulent usage. This may result in unwanted leakage of sensitive data belonging to the firm or the latter being exploited by AI-based phishing attacks.

A growing number of organizations are finding it hard to balance timely patching of security threats and disruption of employee workflow, which may lead to the exhaustion of resources. Jeff Shiner, CEO of 1Password, supports the view in agreement with the comprehensive approach, insisting that the focus should be on a security solution that helps protect organizational assets and gives employees the success to thrive in their positions.

Source: https://1passwordstatic.com/files/resources/balancing-act_security-and-productivity-in-the-age-of-AI.pdf 

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