Convenience Vs Security: A Guide to Make the Right Choice for Your Business

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Pratibha Devasenapathy | Mar-04-2020

Introduction

The IT world is a tricky place to be in. To avoid getting too many junk mails, you often set your spam filter as high, which makes you miss important alerts, but when your spam filter isn’t too high, your inbox is filled with junk mails. So, how do you find a perfect balance so that it doesn’t hamper your business’ productivity? Since the business world is getting competitive with each passing day, it is crucial to remain afloat and at par with your competitors. Staying confined to one place is no longer an option if you aim at reaching greater heights. Being able to stay connected to your business, irrespective of the location has become extremely vital.

However, in the rush for greater convenience, the industry can’t afford to forget about proper identity verification. The threats from identity theft and cyberfraud are growing more sophisticated and pernicious. Organisations must guard against this, but in a way that doesn’t penalise the innocent customer.

The following are some examples of convenience vs. what is safe and secure.

IT Convenience

  • Internal machine firewalls off
  • All users are local admin
  • Login hours unrestricted
  • No clearly defined security groups
  • Users can visit anything on the web and install/run any local application
  • Makes access easy but any user can access more than they really need and can cause critical harm, intentionally or unintentionally

IT Security

  • Internal PC firewalls are on and traffic is strictly controlled between workstations
  • Users access, even on local PC is restricted to work critical functions
  • Access hours for login to PCs is restricted to working hours
  • Strict adherence to departmental or functional groups
  • Advanced and centrally managed AV installed network-wide
  • Additional controls/software to limit applications from being installed or run that are not on a white list
  • Firewall content filtering to protect users from accidental clicks
  • Internet/email threat awareness training
  • Regular security review and controls in place to prevent unauthorized access
  • Strict physical access controls on sensitive areas like switching and server rooms

How can one strike balance between security and convenience?

To strike a perfect balance between security and convenience, organisations should consider an end-to-end solution. When a customer tries to sign-in or access a service, a platform should be set up to collect all the desired data points before sending them to a decision engine. Authentication steps where the user would need to identify themselves to access the data will ensure real-time, seamless experience with complete security and satisfaction.

Balancing security and convenience is not a one-off project. Just like getting a physical or replacing the batteries in your smoke detectors, you need to re-assess annually. In order to meet contingencies where your data might be at risk, it’s important that you as an organisation develop a protocol to run access tests. While limiting the accessibility to a certain number will help you overcome breach risks, it is also necessary to adopt technology that will help you keep your data secure and safe while being able to access it anywhere, anytime.

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