Usability vs. Security – Balancing the Scales in Enterprise App Development

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Last year, the scale of data breaches reported was rather staggering. So much so that businesses today are not leaving anything to chance. Hereafter, the importance of security just cannot be ignored by any enterprise application development company. But at the same time, developers should ensure that the usability of the application is not compromised.

XCEL Corp prepares security protocols for every enterprise application that is developed. We customize every single module and inject security components and triggers that can alleviate any breaches at any point in time. Our developers also safeguard the usability factor so that user experience is retained to the optimum without leaving the consumer dissatisfied. We have the capability to strike that fine balance between usability and security without any hindrance to app performance.

It is common knowledge that usability is a deterrent to security. But is this entirely true? Is security really an impediment to usability and vice versa?

The conflict is inherent and while system owners are looking forward to comprehensive security, users at a workplace are longing for ease of use. Generally, the security of a system limits access to applications because it is mostly appended at the end of a development cycle. The pursuit of balance does seem rather endless and yet poses a unique challenge to every business today. Nevertheless, it is time to look at usability and security together and hire specialists who can find the equilibrium in the usability – security spectrum.

The Argument

ISO 9421-11 defines usability as a degree to which a particular product is used in a certain situation, to achieve a certain goal(s) effectively and efficiently while bestowing satisfaction. Which means usability ideally translates to user satisfaction and if the content is not engaging or if the design is not aesthetically pleasing, then it may also mean that the product is not functionally viable.

When there are limitations to users’ satisfaction levels, it only means that they will choose an alternative product even if it means that their choice, is risky business. The millennial is a mobile-enthusiastic being, and considering that they are going to make up 70% of the working-age population by next year (2020), usability will become a priority in any enterprise app. This is because, out of the remaining, Gen X comprises of about 35%, and the Boomers are around 30%. In comparison to the millennial, both these genres have lower mobile adoption rates.

As a leading Enterprise App Development Company, XCEL Corp has vast experience and provides you with solutions that find the right balance between usability and security that you are so longing for.

Organizations are consciously prioritizing security to protect every portable device and network, vulnerable to the threats of the wireless. They also point out innumerable security implications as a result of larger surface attacks while even admitting that enterprise apps are highly useful. Employees can conveniently download the app anywhere and at any time to accomplish their tasks. Even in technology, a cure is dearer than prevention and therefore, stringent security measures are advised to keep data and devices secure, regardless of the inconvenience this measure might cause.

Is it possible?

Up until now, there are no apps that offer both top-of-the-line usability and unwavering security measures. But that also does not mean you cannot find equity amongst the two concepts.

With decades of experience behind us, XCEL Corp proffers some pointers to help you navigate through the labyrinthine process of stabilizing security and usability within the enterprise application.

Approaches

Our team of experts believes that we should accept that usability is what matches consumerism and therefore taking a ‘usability-first’ or ‘security-by-design’ approach is one of the best ways to avoid placing security at the fag-end. It is true that security gets preferential space while implementing enterprise mobility solutions. This is certainly critical but there is no need to force it at the beginning of the development stages as well, since it can restrict the app’s capabilities, in terms of functionality and of course, creativity. Users should be able to utilize the app to its full potential while offering minimal resistance. Mitigate risks by incorporating security measures at appropriate stages. Layers of security can be added to create a tamper-proof system with substantial strength.

Investing in infrastructure

Implementing a biometric-based authentication method offers better advantages. The usability of the enterprise app remains unaffected and this also replaces the need to remember passwords and handle token-based systems. Simultaneously, the risk of data breach is wholly eliminated as multi-factor biometric authentication is introduced. In addition, an extensive Mobile Device Management system can issue alerts about malicious activity. Invent eligibility for an enterprise mobility program that requires rigorous vetting procedures. Transmit data safely and securely over VPNs to and from corporate servers. Finally, formulate standard operating procedures that will let you wipe out data on stolen devices, remotely.

User engagement

Float training and awareness programs to assimilate people within the organization into the security equation. Furthermore, the program should be able to follow through and see that users are indeed applying what they have already been taught. Risky behaviors will be avoided when users are engaged in the process of data protection. It will also ensure that there is a lot more participation in the immediate identification of breaches. Enterprise security provisions are not compromised when employees become active participants.

Another thing that you can do is take employee feedback at the end of the development process. This way organizational expectations are easily met and the enterprise application is more of an investment rather than a burden.

Do not consider security as a technological challenge alone. It has to meet end-users’ expectations and this can be achieved only by involving the relevant resources into the development process.

Testing the balance

Testing is one of the most integral parts of an Enterprise App Development process. While the app is still under wraps, run extensive and regular beta testing on a range of devices and real-life networks. This, additionally, helps discover potential lapses in security that cannot ideally be reproduced in an otherwise, controlled lab environment.

Conclusion

XCEL Corp believes that security should be a culture rather than a function. The inclusion of your workforce into the enterprise app security program can create the kind of security that you need within the enterprise. This activity will also eliminate workplace frustrations and will help usability and security go hand-in-hand.

XCEL Corp creates robust enterprise applications that empower employees while protecting both professional and personal data.

 



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