Are enterprise app users growing more security savvy?

With new data on its users' activity, as well as survey results, Okta shows that enterprise app users are taking steps to protect their data but fall short in some key areas.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Warnings about cybersecurity risks may finally be sinking in with enterprise app users, according to new data from Okta, the identity and device management provider. Okta on Thursday released its annual "Businesses @ Work" report, showing that the fastest-growing enterprise apps among its customer base are security-related. The top three fastest-growing apps among Okta users are the security awareness training app KnowBe4, the password manager app LastPass and ProofPoint,  an email security and security awareness training provider. 

To create its report, Otka anonymized data from its 5,600 customers and their employees, contractors, partners, and their customers. The report shows which apps and services those users are logging into via Okta -- it isn't necessarily representative of greater market trends. Still, it provides a useful snapshot of enterprise app activity. Okta also commissioned a survey, conducted by Qualtrics, of over 1,200 US knowledge workers from companies of various sizes and industries. Responses were collected in December 2018 and January 2019.

In 2018, KnowBe4 took off among Okta users, growing 178 percent year-over-year. As Okta points out, research has shown that the majority of information security attacks stem from human error, not from malicious intent. At the same time, Okta's survey found that only 49 percent of respondents have ever participated in cybersecurity training at work.


Meanwhile, adoption of LastPass grew by 132 percent year-over-year among Okta users, while Proofpoint grew by 122 percent. Password management is another crucial area for enterprise app users, the Okta survey suggested: Nearly 40 percent of survey respondents said they reuse the same two to four passwords for almost everything, and 10 percent reported using just one password.

In addition to showing the growing popularity of security apps, Okta's new data shows that its customers prefer Microsoft's Office 365 over Google's G Suite.

Office 365 is the most popular app among Okta users, measured in two ways -- by number of customers with the app deployed, and by the number of active unique users, which is defined as users who have logged into the app via Okta at least one time in the past 30 days.


By the number of customers, the next-most popular apps are Salesforce, Amazon AWS, G Suite, Box, Slack, Concur, JIRA, Zoom, Cisco Meraki, DocuSign, Zendesk, Dropbox, ADP, ServiceNow. By the number of active users, following Office 365, the most popular are Workday, ServiceNow, Salesforce and then G Suite.

Okta's survey also found that 67 percent of knowledge workers prefer Microsoft Word over Google Docs, while only 15 percent report the opposite. Another 16 percent identify Google Docs as a top-three most frustrating app. When it comes to email, 49 percent prefer Microsoft Outlook over Gmail, while 35 percent report the opposite.

Interestingly, Okta found that companies investing in developer tools are three times as likely to deploy G Suite as are companies without any developer tools). More specifically, 46 percent of companies with at least one developer tool also have G Suite, versus only 17 percent of non-developers.

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