Drowning in Security: Keeping Security Transparent from Users

David Ting
Feb 03, 2012

Users from temporary staff all the way up to the corner office complain about ‘drowning in security.' Why does it take four more passwords to open an email at work in some cases than to check a bank balance via the home PC? The things that make a car safe - airbags, safety glass, crumple zones, etc. - are not obvious to the driver. What lessons can we adopt from hidden security measures to make security less of a drag on employee performance?

People are resourceful. They'll find ways over, under, around or through security if it is inconvenient or disrupts their workflows or daily behaviors. Sharing passwords among colleagues became standard practice in hospitals because it took too long to log in and out of each application and workstation, until a combo of finger biometrics and single sign-on made it less a chore to access. The more we can make security invisible to the end user and easy to embrace, the more secure we'll be.

What do you think? Are you drowning in security?

-David