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Security and productivity. Does it need to be a choice?

Our recent research found that data security and improving productivity are still the key IT investment priorities for businesses, with 62% and 54% of businesses respectively citing these two issues as their focus over the next 12 months.

Unfortunately, the issue of security has been known to hamper productivity. A survey from Bromium Research found that enterprises prohibit users from using websites and applications due to security concerns, with 94% restricting what users can access. As a result, 74% of CISOs say users think security is preventing them from doing their job and 81% said that users see security as a hurdle to innovation. To avoid falling into the security vs productivity trap, below are three best practice tips that can help enterprises balance the challenges of security and productivity.

1. Identifying disagreements

Executives may be more likely to rank ease of deployment as their top priority when implementing a security solution, but frontline workers maybe be more concerned with efficiency first. In these cases, focusing on trusting frontline workers and ensuring security measures are easy to use, implement, and maintain is the best course of action. With simplicity and trust, the burden of security will lighten, freeing staff to be more productive.

2. Collaboration

Our research found 47% of executives stated that improved employee training would be key in the next 12 months to improve productivity. Part of that training should include better insight into the company security setup and why it’s so important. Hardware and software security solutions need to be deployed by teams that understand how and where they are needed, and be fully understood by staff to enable them to use it fully.

3. Mobile is key

Mobility management is the frontline of IT security– so cover every mobile base. This includes mobile device management, mobile content management, mobile identity and mobile application management. According to our research, 61% of workers use a business laptop and 55% a business smartphone. The need for robust mobile management solutions in house has never been higher, particularly for boosting productivity levels.

The relationship between IT and security has always been interesting. Whereas IT itself is primarily used to make employees more productive, companies are increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches as a result, amplifying the need for enterprise-wide security. The risk of cyber-attacks versus improved productivity due to the advent of technology describes a security paradox.

However, it doesn’t always need to be. While security measures can sometimes put strain on company output, solutions such as Toshiba Mobile Zero Client can provide possible strategies for bridging that gap: allowing enterprises to maximise efficiency while protected by a secure IT infrastructure. But before modern technology is deployed, the correct training, collaboration and focus on mobile can go a long way in helping enterprises to tackle both issues together.

For more information on IT priorities and challenges for the year ahead, read our research Report here: Maximising mobility: Navigating the future IT landscape

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