It’s no secret that enterprise IT networks today face more threats than ever before. Employee demand for enterprise mobility, BYOD and shadow IT are just a few trends that add to the risks and dangers that an enterprise must deal with to maintain the security of its network and its data.
A single employee may create dozens of threats in a single day via their corporately liable smartphone on their commute to the office, as they connect to multiple public Wi-Fi networks. They may then use unauthorized cloud-sharing platforms and continue to connect to unsecure Wi-Fi networks throughout the day, creating more threats.
Now that’s just one day and one employee.
While the picture may seem bleak for enterprise security, the way each individual engages with the network on their own terms actually creates an opportunity to enhance enterprise security. Here’s how.
When a user interacts with Enterprise data and applications, a distinct usage pattern emerges. By identifying these patterns, context can be used to create a personal digital fingerprint to authenticate identity on devices.
By applying contextual authentication, organizations can remove the friction between mobility’s promise of increased productivity and the reality of having to secure devices with excessive input requests. With contextual analytics and authentication, users only need to provide one factor of authentication, such as a password or fingerprint. Simultaneously, a number of other factors are evaluated in the background based on the device’s use versus the context of what has been recently typical (e.g. the device’s location, time and manner of use, proximity to other devices etc.).
If no discrepancy is detected, then single factor authentication is sufficient. Only if there is a marked difference between past activity and the current request will a further manual input be required.
At a stroke, the broad range of devices and methods available to workers to access corporate data changes from being a cause for IT concern to becoming a way to strengthen security. What’s more, the threat of unauthorized access to the corporate network via obvious or overused passwords falls dramatically if security is entrusted to the mechanical, dispassionate algorithm instead. As the algorithm constantly learns from new patterns, the enterprise is always protected from new threats as they emerge, preventing these risks or threats from penetrating the network.
While the typical response to solving the secure mobility conundrum has been to add extra authentication factors to strengthen the process and burden the user, at Synchronoss Enterprise, we believe the combination of contextual analytics and authentication to be the most powerful method of securing the enterprise. And with BYOD, remote working and shadow IT only continuing to increase in popularity, organizations should start thinking carefully about the correct method to marry security and productivity.
Find out more about how contextual analytics can boost enterprise network security in my latest article for SC Magazine.