Chrome, Windows & Apple Are Big Work-From-Home Winners On Security

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Work-from-home policies have fundamentally impacted trends in security, especially as it pertains to enterprise decisions about devices, operating systems, and browsers. That stems, at least in part, from the fact that the number of workers accessing their enterprise IT environment at least 60% of the time has climbed with Covid-19 continuing its rampage. The number has jumped by as much as 16.55, in fact. And Cisco-owned Duo Security has now released its 2020 Duo Trusted Access Report, providing key insights into the associated trends.

The report pools together Duo Security's 700-million monthly user authentications as well as data on 26-million devices and 500,000 apps that make up the IT environments of its customers across the globe. And there are at least a few interesting points to note.

Not least of all, Android has lost out to iOS in a significant way on that front. As many as 15-percent of all corporate applications are via mobile devices. But only 30-percent of the access is on Android smartphones. The rest are via iOS, with the total percentage split 11.4-percent for iOS and just 3.7-percent on Android.

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There's a lot more than meets the eye with this work-from-home security report

Now, it's likely not surprising that iOS is ahead on this particular report. While there have been some signs that dominance on that front is waning, it's still the most likely to be secure. Not least of all, according to the report and compared to Android devices, iOS is more than four times as likely to be updated. Or at least within 30-days of a patch or update release.

Also falling under the mobile category, SMS authentication as an approved method is down by 85-percent in 2020. In fact, that method has been disallowed outright in many cases, as it offers far inferior security. Biometrics have conversely jumped forward by 64-percent. And that's piggybacking on the fact that more than 80-percent of customer devices have the technology to support it.

But this report covers more than just the mobile. It also highlights desktop operating systems, browsers, remote working, and cloud. For instance, Google Chrome may not be the fastest but when it comes to the security side of things, driven by work-from-home activity, it has the competition beat. When it comes to authentications, the browser takes 44-percent. That's compared to its closest competitor — the mobile variant of Safari — at 15.3-percent.

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Windows dominates too with increasing work-from-home

Similarly, Windows continues to dominate in the OS space despite that Windows 7 is down to just 10-percent of Windows installations. It accounts for as many as 59-percent of the total devices being used to access protected enterprise apps. Mac OS comes in second at 23-percent. Authentication failures caused by devices being out of date rose by 90.5-percent.

The last figure there is not at all surprising either. Remote access has grown by 60.1-percent with daily cloud authentications growing by 40-percent in 2020. VPN and RDP technology are the preferred method of authentication for remote working. Monthly remote access and app usage grew by 32.2-percent.