Report: Our Appetite For Apps Is Changing How We Do Security

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A recent report looking at which apps and cloud services are most used in businesses also found many are buying duplicate services and that password re-use across services is rife although multi-factor authentication continues to grow in adoption. And companies that try to do authentication on the cheap end up going back and adopting stronger security after their first attempt.

The Okta Businesses @ Work report found that while Office 365 adoption continues to rise, businesses aren't using the full set of tools in the package, preferring to use third party tools alongside it. In particular, Slack and Zoom for collaboration and chat, and video-conferencing respectively, have seen their adoption grow significantly over the last year.

Slack had the benefit of acquiring a bunch of customers when it purchased HipChat last year so its growth is not totally unexpected.

But the fastest growing segment in the app market according to Okta was what they called "user-focused security apps". In this category, it found KnowBe4, LastPass and Proofpoint were the fastest growing tools. Although LastPass and Proofpoint have been around for a while and are well-known, the rise of KnowBe4 is interesting as it's a security education tool - an area of increasing focus for businesses as they step up their defence against phishing which remains the main way that actors infiltrate corporate systems.

Source: Okta

The other app category Okta saw substantial growth are HR related. Three of the top 10 apps by number of users are HR-related, with HR systems Workday and SAP SuccessFactors with Namely claiming the fastest growth by number of customers closely followed by BambooHR and UltiPro.

Source: Okta

This increasing complexity in app profile - large companies reported having over 150 unique apps in use - means authentication has become more complex. The desire to have single sign-on with multi-factor authentication and simplified suer management is driving adoption of new security tools.

It's worth noting that while the report does look at data from a large number of businesses, they are all Okta customers so the sample is not random so the data needs to be considered through that lens.


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