Why user-friendliness in email security is important
The number of data leaks due to human error is still on the rise. We mentioned it earlier this year: last year in the Netherlands for example, 29% more data leaks were reported than in 2018. With more upcoming privacy regulations, it is expected that this number will grow even more. But, what exactly is it about sensitive information being shared with the wrong recipient? In addition to increasing awareness, which can prevent these human errors, there is another important issue: user-friendliness. We’ll explain you why this is equally important as awareness.
Security is one thing, user-friendliness is another focus point
When it comes to secure email, we want a product that has the features to enable secure email. And more important: a product that also helps to prevent data leaks.
That might be a difficult task, because what do you pay attention to? Is it enough to get notifications when composing a message, should there be the option to confirm attachments and recipients before sending, or is it enough for you to be able to recall an email that was sent incorrectly?
Although the degree of security of a product is of course important, user-friendliness also plays a major role. Because what is a secure product if it is not easy to use?
An example: suppose you have purchased the best security system for your house. Everything is set up digitally through one central system. However, to get the most out f this system, there are certain actions required. Otherwise, your home is not secured as it should be - even if you have the best system. So what would happen if these actions take a lot of your time and can be found inconvient? Chances are you are not using the system correctly, which may lead to gaps in your security system.
The same goes for email security: there are plenty of suppliers that offer a secure service. But the time to focus only on product features is over. Having a secure product is one thing, the ease of use is another important thing.
This is why user-friendliness is important
Getting a secure product is the first step. But then there is the most exciting part, because how do employees deal with it ? How do we ensure that human errors are limited as much as possible and what does user-friendliness have to do with this ?
Working in a secure way should also be an easy way of working. And that has to do with these two main reasons :
- A complicated product might not be used correctly, which leaves gaps in its security
A product that is difficult to use can pass its purpose. To go back to the example : if actions are considered to be difficult, a product can ultimately be used in correctly. Where security is built in, it is the intention that this security is also fully applied. And not only half, just because the use can be experienced as annoying. A consequence could be that data would be processed in an unsecure way, which may lead to data leaks.
- If a product is not easy to use, there is a chance your employees won’t use it at all
Not using the product correctly brings security risks. But, it gets more tricky when security isn't used at all. What if there is the opportunity to increase awareness among employees, but this awareness isn't fully integrated ? What if two - factor-factor authentication can ensure that only the authorized recipient can access the sent data, but the process is complicated and your employees start working in an unsecure way?
A secure way of working has everything to do with how your employees deal with systems and applications. No matter how secure a system is: if your employees don’t use it the correct way, there will always be a big chance things can go wrong.
Learn more about working securely in a user- friendly way
Is usability the most important thing ? Does it surpass a secure product? And more importantly: should we choose between usability or security?