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How to balance security and usability

Today’s institutions and organisations are facing greater security challenges than ever before. The introduction of data protection policies like the GDPR demand businesses, governments and healthcare facilities, among others, require that all personal and confidential information stored and handled is safeguarded.

As phishing strategies, ransomware and malware attacks become more sophisticated, companies across multiple sectors are tightening security using state-of-the-art technologies like enhanced authentication methods and high-level encryption to lock down sensitive information and negate the risk of data leaks.

While having impenetrable security measures in place can keep confidential data safe, it can sometimes be harmful to enterprises when it becomes too complicated for users to get to grips with, or so stringent that it makes collaboration slow and unwieldy. This where we need to balance security and usability.

It is the responsibility of all chief information officers and security professionals to adopt a system that offers maximum security, yet at the same time does not disrupt business processes.

Understanding availability

Securing sensitive data comes down to the question of availability. Information that is stored securely can only be used when it is made available. How the data can be accessed and who is authorised to access it are controls that must be configured depending on the nature of the information and how sensitive it is. Security professionals must understand the data they are storing and safeguarding, and should classify it depending on its level of sensitivity. Whether data is at rest or being transmitted, it should only be made available to those with the level of authority that entitles them to view or use it.

Organising data through classification and access rights can facilitate work processes, ensuring users can easily get to the information they require when they have the appropriate security level. Implementing the “principles of least privilege”, users should only have access to the information and options they require to perform their role.

Keep it simple, keep it safe

The front end of any security platform that users interact with must always be straightforward and easy to use. Regardless of how robust the security solution is, it should never hinder users from collaborating and reaching the data they need to work, or risk slowing business processes to the detriment of the organisation.

The danger of an overly complicated security system is that it may not be used to its optimal effect, thus negating its usefulness. When users don’t utilise the multiple features correctly, not only can this make data difficult to access, but it can even become a risk to data security.

End-to-end security designed for ease of use

Galaxkey is a simple-to-use system that protects emails, files, and folders with stalwart security. Using a three-layer encryption accepted as the recognised standard for data security by the US government, we provide a user-friendly platform that can encrypt data automatically with a simple drag-and-drop feature, thus striking a fine balance between security and usability.

Get in touch with our expert team today and book an online demonstration, or try out superior security with a free two-week trial.

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