Report: 79% of Security Professionals Don't Feel Their Company’s Protections Are Adequate

1Password's State of Enterprise Security report reveals how disruptive technologies like AI have escalated the tension between security and productivity

92% of security pros have security concerns about generative AI. (Graphic: Business Wire)

TORONTO--()--1Password, provider of the most-used enterprise password manager, today released its annual State of Enterprise Security report, Balancing act: Security and productivity in the age of AI. Based on a survey of 1,500 North American workers, including 500 IT security professionals, the report reveals how disruptive technologies like AI are heightening the longstanding tension between organizational security and employee productivity. Employees are under increasing pressure to perform; to boost efficiency they’re embracing generative AI, hybrid and remote work, and unapproved applications and devices. IT and security teams are having difficulty keeping up, even as their organizations face new urgency in a landscape constantly remade by mounting cyberthreats and disruptive technologies.

“Since the pandemic, employees have gained unprecedented flexibility in where and how they work, and that flexibility often extends to the apps and devices they use. Productivity has become paramount, leaving significant security challenges for IT and security leaders—who often feel like they don't have bandwidth or budget to keep employees secure,” said Jeff Shiner, CEO of 1Password. “When it comes to security and productivity, it shouldn't be either-or. Businesses and security providers alike need to deliver solutions that keep employees protected and productive—no matter how they prefer to work. When you secure your people, you secure your business.”

Security professionals are struggling

While IT and security teams work to expand employee access to new tools and technologies like generative AI, the challenge of keeping up with the speed of technology and safeguarding their organizations has dramatically increased.

  • An impossible balance: Half of security pros (50%) say it’s almost impossible to find the right balance between security and employee productivity.
  • Security spread thin: More than two-thirds of security pros (69%) admit they’re at least partly reactive when it comes to security. The main reason? They’re being pulled in too many conflicting directions (61%).
  • Dangerously vulnerable: Four in five security pros (79%) don’t feel their security protections are adequate.
  • SSO isn’t enough: More than two-thirds of security pros (69%) say single sign-on (SSO) tools are not a complete solution for securing employees’ identity.

For employees, productivity is paramount

Well-intentioned employees gravitate toward tools, technologies, devices, and habits to increase productivity and support how they want to work, but they often don’t consider or understand the impact on security.

  • App creep: One in three employees (34%) use unapproved apps and tools, otherwise known as shadow IT. On average, these workers use a total of five shadow IT apps or tools—each representing a potential new threat vector.
  • It’s not businessit’s personal: Nearly one in five employees (17%) admit to never working on their work-provided devices, opting solely for personal or public computers.
  • Lax on security: More than half of employees (54%) admit to being lax about their company’s security policies. Reasons include a desire to get things done quickly and be productive (24%) and the belief that security policies are inconvenient (11%) or too stringent or unreasonable (11%).
  • Split incentives: Nearly half of employees (44%) say security would be less of an issue if tools were easier to use and policies were easier to follow. But fewer than one in 10 security pros (9%) say that employee convenience is their top consideration when selecting security software.

Enter generative AI

The rise of generative AI has accelerated the tug-of-war between security and employee productivity. Security teams are worried about generative AI’s potential to expand the surface area for attacks, while employees are enticed by its potential to boost efficiency and output.

  • Overwhelming concern: 92% of security pros have security concerns around generative AI, with specific apprehensions including employees entering sensitive company data into an AI tool (48%), using AI systems trained with incorrect or malicious data (44%), and falling for AI-enhanced phishing attempts (42%).
  • Return on AI: More than half of employees (57%) say that using generative AI tools at work saves them time and makes them more productive. And a relatively small, but significant, group of employees (22%) admit to knowingly violating company rules on the use of generative AI.

For the full findings of 1Password’s annual State of Enterprise Security report, read here. For more information, stay tuned for an upcoming 1Password webinar here.

About 1Password

Trusted by over 100,000 businesses and millions of consumers, 1Password offers identity security and access management solutions built for the way people work and live today. 1Password is on a mission to secure every sign-on on every device while enabling productivity. As the provider of the most-used password manager, 1Password continues to innovate on its strong foundation to offer security solutions relied upon by companies of all sizes, including Salesforce, IBM, Slack, GitLab, Under Armour, and Intercom.


Media Contact

Release Summary

1Password's State of Enterprise Security report reveals how disruptive tech like AI have escalated the tension between security and productivity.


Media Contact