Security Leaders Discuss the Virtue of Balancing User Experience with Security

Security Leaders Discuss the Virtue of Balancing User Experience with Security

CISOs acknowledge that there exists a very sharp balance between mitigating malicious activity and inconvenient, lengthy authentication processes

Security experts and leaders are usually focused on securing their enterprises from the consistent threats and risks that they constantly encounter. But CISOs agree that these measures often come at the expense of a critical business element- user experience.

This is critical because when faced with difficult processes and untenable restrictions, end-users start looking for ways to work around the issue. It worsens the security posture of the enterprise. Higher friction also causes user frustration and the probability that they will give up security instructions much more easily.

Since security leaders try to not compromise the security profile of the enterprises that they defend, so they need to focus also on ways to improve usability- reduce user friction without increasing the risk profile.

Enterprises need to recognize good users

CIOs acknowledge that passwords by themselves do not provide an adequate security. Multi-factor authentication was introduced to serve an extra level of security by challenging users to prove their identity via several authentication steps. MFA is also at times mandated by policy or regulation; however, it helps increase security at login and other important situations.

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If the organization has recognized the user, it doesn’t make sense to trouble them to prove their identity. Reliable recognition of good users makes it easier for organizations to identify malicious or unknown users.

This helps the security personnel focus on what is needed with relevance to authentication rather than draconian, rigid and obsolete policies and rules that only inconvenience the legal end-users and paying clients.

Analyzing the clues left by real users

Security leaders believe that the best way to identify legitimate end-users is to pay real attention to their habits and leverage tech, like adaptive authentication and fraud prevention.

These technologies are known to act on such patterns. These clues/patterns can be clubbed into three major categories: the data related to the device, the data associated with the behavior of the person and interaction with the site, and data relevant to the environment of the user.

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As enterprises begin to collate and analyze data from a large volume of end-users collected from various environments and devices with highly differing behavioral patterns. Many insights are gleaned from any deviation in the expected behavior patterns and established patterns.

Security departments believe that when a user behaves in a manner expected from a legitimate user, the enterprise can dial back on the authentication challenges and provide them with an easier and smoother online experience.

Understanding the patterns of fraudsters and cyber attackers

CIOs point out that similar to footprints left behind by legitimate users, cybercriminals also leave behind patterns. Security teams need to analyze and understand the thought process and behavioral patterns of fraudsters and attackers. It helps organizations to block and even challenge their transactions and sessions, thus decreasing the loss by fraud to the organization.

With this predictive analysis, it is possible for security leaders to reduce the friction to the legit users, while focusing on increasing the friction for fraudsters and attackers, so as to not allow them access to the applications.