Endpoint security continues to be one of the weakest areas for organisations around the world and a key factor behind a large amount of data breaches.

HEAT Software conducted a global study of 700 enterprise security professionals from 57 countries worldwide that provides visibility into the uses, concerns and challenges that IT departments deal with in regard to endpoint security, patching, cloud applications and mobile management.

IT managers have reported that negligent employees are the biggest threat to endpoint security. Three of the top four security concerns revolve around endpoints. An alarming 36 percent of SMBs forego endpoint security.

External hackers seeking to exploit vulnerabilities often do so more than a year after a common vulnerability has been published, which makes it critical that every patch in operating systems and applications are applied as soon as they become available.

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions are not used by 37 percent of respondents. Enterprise mobility management (EMM) addresses security, stability and performance without centralising mobile access to data, application updates and device security. EMM solutions are not used by 37 percent of respondents.

Data security is the biggest IT concern around mobile applications (78 percent). It is more of a concern than stability (39 percent), performance (25 percent) and budget (13 percent) concerns combined.

Over three quarters (76 percent) of respondents see security as the biggest challenge to cloud adoption. Production use of cloud stays low compared to on-premise.

“It's our hope that these findings will encourage IT departments to implement flexible, scalable, secure service management and endpoint management solutions, so that they can operate effectively in today's harsh cyber-security climate,” said Russ Ernst, senior director of product management at HEAT Software.

These findings have been released at the 2016 RSA Conference in San Francisco.