Application Security IT Security

Productivity Tools and Cybersecurity

What are Productivity Tools?

With so many productivity tools and applications available, employees are often keenly aware of alternative strategies for collaborating and getting work done. If employees feel that their cybersecurity practices and policies are creating obstacles and slowing them down, they are likely to look for ways around that by accessing other tools and applications that are easier to use, and possibly less secure. This scenario can be avoided by ensuring that your employees are equipped with the resources and knowledge necessary to be both productive and secure. Consider the following when establishing secure workflows for employees:

Bypassing company tools. According to a 2021 Unisys report, nearly 6 in 10 (58%) of U.S. workers have downloaded or installed software, apps or cloud storage programs not approved by their IT department. When asked why they chose to do so, 45% of respondents said that the software or apps they downloaded were better than the tools their company provided, while 43% said that their company did not provide a good alternative option.1 In order to avoid this, ensure that your secure business apps are meeting employee needs and prioritizing user experience. If not, they are more likely to seek out workarounds.

Lack of security awareness. According to a 2021 Unisys report, more than 6 in 10 (62%) say they are not familiar with the threat of SMS phishing (also known as ‘Smishing’), which is when a scammer texts asking for personal or financial information; More than three-quarters (76%) report being unaware of SIM jacking, which is when a scammer gets your phone number transferred to a phone they control; More than half (51%) of people surveyed say they are not wary of clicking on links in a text message, email or social media app; and nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents do not know where to report a scam should they be victimized. Train end users about cybersecurity threats and be sure that they understand that they play key roles in the success of your cybersecurity strategy.

App management. If your organization has an abundance of apps, it may be hard for employees to keep track of which tool to use for a particular task, or where to access information. This slows down workflows and frustrates end users. Increase productivity and security by auditing your apps and determining which ones best fit your security needs and the workflows of your employees, and then cut out the rest.

App policies. Communicate app policies to employees. Ensure that employees know about approved apps, the process for screening apps, and where to find information about which apps should and should not be used.   

1 Unisys, 2021, “2021 Unisys Security Index”