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Security Vs Convenience: Striking the Right Balance 

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By Dhananjay Ganjoo, Managing Director for India, and SAARC at F5

The emergence of smartphones, applications, Wi-Fi, cloud computing, digital payment and 5G has revolutionized how the world operates. Additionally, users have become increasingly dependent on applications for ordering food, digital payment, online shopping, upskilling and more. With services and products available at our fingertips, consumers seek convenience. As per a study by data.ai, the total number of app downloads in India has reached as high as 29 billion in 2022. Not only consumers but businesses too operate seamlessly with their employees in a remote work setting, made possible due to the ease of accessing and sharing data quickly. 

Convenience is an important factor for consumers, and they are willing to grant access to their data in exchange for better customer experience. As per the ‘Curve of Convenience Report’, 68% of consumers in India are open to sharing their data when a personalized experience is provided to them. However, this uptick in the use of applications and subsequent generation of data has had the unintended consequence of widening attack opportunities, offering malicious parties more gateways to strike. According to CERT-IN, over 674,000 cyber security incidents occurred in India in the first half of last year. 

With this growing dependence on digital services and ever-increasing cyber threats, there is a rise in data security concerns among consumers. For example, 48% of Indian consumers are unwilling to support the company involved, in the event of a data leak. Further 45% of Indian consumers insist that their data should not be shared with 3rd party companies without prior consent. These findings are a testimony to the importance of data security in the minds of Indian consumers.

The security vs convenience balance has always put businesses in a dilemma as providing a highly secured digital experience will require levels of authentication which a consumer will find inconvenient. On the other hand, reducing the security controls to provide seamless customer experience, will make the data vulnerable to malicious attacks. 

The key to solving this conundrum is finding the right balance between security controls and convenience. Here are some ways that can help businesses  strike that balance between security controls and convenience:

  • Conducting risk assessments: Before formulating security strategies, it is imperative for businesses to understand the level of security risks that need to be mitigated. Assessing the risks of sensitive information will help determine the right balance between security controls and convenience.
  • Choosing the right security measures: It is important that businesses choose security measures which are appropriate for their risk level and provide the necessary level of protection. IT experts must ensure that the measures are effective and convenient for users.
  • Making users aware: To be able to provide both convenience and security to users, businesses must provide their customers with the training and resources they need to understand and use security measures effectively. This will help them understand the importance of security controls and why they need to follow them.
  • Monitoring user behavior: Regular monitoring of user behavior is important to ensure that security measures are followed and being used correctly. This will also help identify areas where users are struggling with convenience and make changes, as necessary.
  • Continuous review and update: With the ever-changing technological environment businesses must regularly review and update their security measures. This will ensure that they are still effective and relevant to the needs of the users. 

Achieving a balance between security controls and convenience is critical for ensuring efficient information security. Only through a balanced approach can businesses guarantee that their information security systems are user-friendly and secured, while providing a hassle-free experience for their consumers. 

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