Clearing the ‘AIR’ – Understanding the Impact of App-Blended Lifestyles on Personal and Corporate Security

“There’s an app for that.”

It’s an utterance that today is probably met with a resounding “Duh!”

Why? Because there’s an app for everything. Odds are if you can think it up, there is, indeed, an app for it. For many, apps have become a basic human necessity.


Apps are an essential component of our digital lives. They’re powerful business tools. They’re fun personal time-wasters. We can accomplish the most mundane to the most complex tasks with a few taps and swipes.

And while we tend to think of apps in context of smartphones, laptops and other connected devices, the term application can apply to many types of software, services, tools and clients across a wide range of platforms, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, vehicles, appliances, electronics and more.

The App-Blended Life

It’s hard to imagine going a day without work or personal apps. They drive our routines. When was the last time you left the house without your smartphone? If it was recently, you likely panicked slightly without it.

We call this the app-blended life, where personal and work lives are no longer compartmentalized. We use personal apps at work and business apps at home. We use some apps for both. The lines have blurred.

But do we ever stop to think: Is this app secure? And who is responsible for protecting us as users? Is it IT? Is it the developer? Is it the user? Or is it a combination of all three?

And how often do we realize how our use of applications affects business from a security and productivity perspective?

Introducing A10 AIR

There are many security studies in our industry. They are very uniform in nature. They cover attack trends, impact of attacks and the evolution of threats. They are all important. However, A10 Networks wants to take a unique approach by illuminating the side of risk and security that is not evaluated enough – human behavior. A10 wants to break away from the school of fish and help better understand how the global workforce’s experiences and behaviors with apps impact personal and corporate security. We want to help IT organizations and security teams understand how people use apps. Why they use them. Their perception of personal and business security when using them. And potential behavioral risks to businesses and IT teams.

So we launched the A10 Application Intelligence Report, or A10 AIR for short. A10 AIR is a global research project that examines how attitude, behavior and experience involving apps impacts personal and corporate security.

Key Findings

Through our research, we made interesting discoveries – some startling, some not so surprising. For example:

The Importance of Apps

App Behavior and Security Due Diligence

Threats Realized

These are just a handful of findings in A10 AIR. To read more, download the full report.

Behavior Impacts Business

You may ask, what does this have to do with business? Or A10? Or our product portfolio? It’s simple: Employees bring their behavior to work every business day.

Poor security behavior, particularly with applications that hold sensitive personal and business information, can introduce threats to individuals and enterprises alike. As a vendor, we care about customers generating ROI from their solutions. Any breach or security compromise, whether caused by negligent or malicious behavior, undermines ROI on security investments.

How can you cost-justify security investments if your company is breached and news about it breaks publicly? Managing human behavioral implications is part of a diligent approach to corporate security. It boils down to people, process and technology – all three must be addressed.

IT organizations can leverage this data to make better business decisions to protect users by strengthening protection of their IT infrastructure and their applications. Every action taken on a corporate network or device – yes, even within a personal app – can affect the security posture of an organization.

A10 AIR gives IT pros a number of recommendations they can leverage to fortify security within their organizations.

From a cultural perspective, IT can study the app-blended life, consider user behavior as a factor in security planning, build enterprise-wide security awareness and influence a security-minded culture.

And from a technology perspective, IT pros can use this data to make the case for improved per-app visibility, per-app analytics, performance, removal of security blind spots and implementation of tighter controls across all application environments.

Dig Deeper

Stay tuned over coming weeks for a deeper dive into the data and the discoveries as we dig into A10 AIR and how apps have become an indispensable part of our work and personal lives, and why application security is of the utmost importance.

Download the A10 Application Intelligence Report now and learn how our behavior and attitude regarding apps impact business and how businesses can ensure safety and security amid a culture shifting more and more toward an app-blended life.


May 23, 2017

About Andrew Hickey

Andrew Hickey serves as A10's editorial director. Andrew has two decades of journalism and content strategy experience, covering everything from crime to cloud computing and all things in between. READ MORE