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How to get the right balance between security and usability

Written by Lanware

Wednesday, 14 June, 2023

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5 steps to ensure financial information remains secure without compromising usability

In an increasingly interconnected world where technology plays a central role in our lives, finding the right balance between security and usability has become a significant challenge. While stringent security measures are necessary to safeguard our digital assets, they should not come at the expense of productivity and convenience.

The balance between security and usability has a significant impact on the financial services industry, where trust, confidentiality, and data protection are of paramount importance. Organisations must implement robust security measures to protect sensitive customer information, financial transactions, and digital assets. This includes strong authentication methods, encryption protocols, secure data storage, and regular security audits. Striking the right balance ensures that financial information remains secure without compromising usability.

1. Gain insight into your users’ needs

To strike the right balance, it is essential to understand the needs and expectations of your people. Conducting workshops and gathering feedback on how people interact with technology helps to gain insights into their preferences and pain points. You can subsequently identify areas where security measures might hinder usability and find alternative solutions that meet both objectives.

2. Aim to avoid ‘a one-size fits all’ approach

A role-based approach to security restrictions is a crucial mechanism for granting access and privileges based on an individual’s role within the organisation. Assigning permissions and privileges according to job functions ensures that only authorised people can access certain systems, data or make changes. This approach minimises the risk of unauthorised access, while also streamlining usability by providing people with the necessary resources to perform their specific tasks.

3. Conduct a risk assessment

Before implementing or making any changes to security measures, conducting a risk assessment specific to your business is vital. This assessment should identify potential vulnerabilities, evaluate existing security practices, and ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards such as GDPR and SEC guidelines.

4. Provide ongoing training & awareness

Effective security is not solely the responsibility of the technology; people must also be educated about potential threats and best practices. Providing clear and concise security guidelines, along with interactive training with real-world examples, can help people understand the importance of security measures and how they can contribute to a safer digital environment. Empowered people who are well-informed are more likely to appreciate the need for security without sacrificing usability.

5. Continuously monitor systems to improve incident response times

A robust security posture requires continuous monitoring of systems and networks to detect potential breaches or vulnerabilities promptly. Implementing security information and event management (SIEM) tools can provide real-time visibility into the network, enabling early detection and rapid incident response. Proactive monitoring and incident response protocols ensure that security measures do not hinder usability by quickly resolving any potential issues. For most organisations, this would be handled by a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP), such as Lanware.

 

In summary, the impact of striking the right balance between security and usability in financial services is crucial for safeguarding customer information, complying with regulations, providing a positive experience, and fostering trust. Achieving this delicate equilibrium is vital for financial organisations to thrive in an increasingly digital and competitive landscape.

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