Leaders can no longer rely on pre-pandemic policies, processes, and infrastructures to keep their organizations secure as they face the challenges of managing a growing number of remote employees who need to use multiple tools and systems outside of a traditional workplace.
For many, the way they work has changed, which means security boundaries are shifting. This provides IT leaders with a unique opportunity to rethink both how their organizations run and how they can implement security in such a way that it benefits users as well.
The success of security depends on creating an effective and fluid user experience; if the user experience is poor, individuals will turn to their own devices, increasing security threats. The goal should be to embed security in a way that is barely noticeable to users.
To strike the right balance between experience and security, leaders must be willing to make compromises, such as trading pure security for a workable, acceptable, easy-to-adopt level of security. In a post-pandemic environment, successful security should be built on communication and education.
Below are the three focus areas for delivering a great user experience while prioritizing security.
Consider the user workflow and evaluate the risk
To understand usability, security teams must appreciate what people are attempting to accomplish and make it easy for them. Rather than overloading them with tasks and decisions to make, it’s critical to keep things simple. This is why user interface design is crucial.
When businesses understand what the users are trying to do, what the threats are, and what can go wrong, a better balance can be established.
Increase security awareness
The first thing to understand is that some user resistance to security is normal. Users may have had a better experience at their remote working environments during lockdown than they had at the office or will have in a new hybrid working model. Remote connectivity can be faster with less bandwidth contention, and users may have enjoyed utilizing their personal devices and having easy access to the websites and apps they needed.
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Taking user experience into account as security teams examine whether current security measures are suitable for purpose will be vital to effective security. The challenge is to integrate security in such a way that people accept it, introducing security that makes sense so that they don’t go back to using their own unprotected devices. With the right communications, users understand the necessity for security to safeguard the organization, and they are significantly less likely to object when the reasons for the restrictions are made clear.
Incorporate flexibility into the strategy
Leaders develop security policies with the best interests of their company in mind, but it’s crucial to remember that they won’t work for everyone. They may need to change their policy in some circumstances to allow individuals to make the ultimate decision, which makes users more likely to follow the guidelines where possible.
Non-compliance with security rules can also be a sign that the policies and processes in place aren’t working for users, and hence, by extension, for the company. Instead of viewing non-compliance as a sign of user failure, businesses can view it as a signal that they are trying to convince users to do something that they find difficult or useless.
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