In an ever increasingly connected world, it is essential to strike the right balance between security and operability. If technology and systems are not easy to engage with at a user level it could mean that people stop using them or find other ways to get things done. In the business world, it might mean a reduction in productivity (as systems may be difficult to use), or if security is circumvented (as maybe it is seen as getting in the way), it might result in the organisation becoming susceptible to a data breach or cybercrime.
In short, if the security is seen as an inhibitor to user experience, it can have a potentially dramatic adverse effect on a business.
As a result, it is essential that businesses fully understand and mitigate the risks associated with the technology decisions they make.
This doesn’t mean that businesses should not embrace advances in technology to improve communications, competitive advantage or drive general efficiency gains. However, it does mean businesses need to consider the appropriate Enterprise Security Architecture (or ESA) that enables them to embrace all the benefits of new and innovative technology, whilst delivering them in a secure and scalable way. The more security is embedded into the fabric of the user experience, the less friction it creates and the more it becomes a business enabler. Organisations can then look to deliver cutting edge technologies more quickly to both their customers and employees whilst understanding and managing the risks in line with their overall goals.
It is important to note though, that this isn’t just about technology. A successful Enterprise Security Architecture also relies on the correct design frameworks and best practice processes. The first step is to creating a scalable model and conduct a review to understand the risks and decide how they should be managed. Typically, this involves understanding the existing assets, associated security requirements and defining what success looks like for the organisation. This will include understanding best practice for the industry vertical and mapping these against the overall business goals with a prioritised plan of activities developed and implemented against these.
To maintain an optimum security posture, ESA needs to continually evolve based on business strategy and technological advances. If underpinned by a strong governance model, ESA can not only help an organisation to meet its responsibilities for corporate governance, risk and compliance, but may also allow new technologies to be deployed faster, and with security seamlessly embedded.
For the user, this means they can embrace new ways of doing things and, for the organisation, it means they can capitalise on the benefits of new technologies in a secure way that delivers business success.