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The cybersecurity strategy is more effective when it responds to an excellent user experience. Why include UX design in cybersecurity? How to design a usable cybersecurity strategy?

We are not saying anything new by ensuring that a good user experience improves conversion rates and is already a basic in B2C online businesses. However, B2B companies must also prioritize the user experience in order for their employees to take full advantage of their technological resources, such as cybersecurity.

75% of companies do not have a good cybersecurity strategy, which means that they lack technology and procedures in case of possible cyber attacks. A danger that is increasing due to the forced impulse of teleworking due to the coronavirus crisis.

Cybersecurity strategy and UX design: pieces of the same gear

Therefore, both user experience and cybersecurity have the well-being of users in common, so that ease of use is not an excluding factor in security and vice versa.

In fact, they should be complementary, because if a solution is to be easy to use and secure, cybersecurity professionals must be involved in the early stages of product design, and vice versa. In this way, neither security nor user experience is implemented as a simple plugin.

We can see the UX design practices applied in cybersecurity at two levels: micro and macro.

Micro practices:

This is what we are most used to seeing. While a few years ago UX design was not conceived beyond the configuration of the firewall, today we see it more commonly applied to the following functionalities:

1. End User Applications. With business applications where end users perform security checks without interrupting employee workflow (for example: single sign-on, simple multi-factor authentication).

2. Security technologies. Providing well visualized data in a single management panel.

Macro Practices:

A cybersecurity program is a complex adaptive system, in which UX design is key to its success in various applications:

1. Continuous improvement process. Think about how the CI/CD (Continuous Integration and Distribution) method works to drive integration of new code to development teams and apply it to fine-tune operational protection, detection, and response functionality.

2. Operating model alignment to know what experience each stakeholder involved needs.

3. Culture as a strategy. Seth Godin states that “corporate culture trumps strategy, so culture is strategy.” It is necessary to design how people experience cybersecurity and what they perceive of it.

Implementing UX design in cybersecurity strategy

How do you want the cybersecurity experience to be?

1. Maybe cybersecurity is fluid and hidden

2. Or is it a decision point of every strategic business meeting

3. Perhaps it is the central theme for the development of products and services.

Answer that question and strategize toward that end. It is no longer consistent to simply design to fill control gaps.

Today the challenge is much greater, the cybersecurity strategy implies empathy and two-way communication with the stakeholders involved.

"Direct Discovery" in UX design in cybersecurity

For the design of the cybersecurity strategy and any product, Nate Walkingshaw, director of Customer Experience at Pluralsight, proposes the 4-step design method of “Direct Discovery”:

1. Voice of the customer: Betting on business ethnography techniques as a methodology to try to understand how people live and their way of interacting with the product from their point of view.

2. Customer preference: Get authentic feedback on every design option presented to clients.

3. Customer confirmation: Get customer validation of their experience with the product on more specific design elements.

4. Final product launch: Start-up of the validated capacities, with continuous revisions to continue perfecting the product.

It is necessary to think of UX design as a tool for the cybersecurity strategy in companies, investing in the processes and people involved in the long term.

At PSS we are experts in cybersecurity and user experience, thus optimizing proximity to the user and easy use of products. If you want more information about our services, do not hesitate to contact us. Leave a Reply

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