The Security, Functionality, and Usability Triangle
The more secure something is, the less usable and functional it becomes. Want to completely secure a computer? Leave it in the box and never turn it on..
Why is it represented as a triangle? If you start in the middle and move to the point toward Security, you’re moving further away from Functionality and Usability. Move the point toward Usability, and you’re moving away from Security and Functionality. Simply put, as security increases, the system’s functionality and ease of use decrease.
With all of the security threats out there in our digital world, it is a never ending challenge to provide adequate security to your data and internal network. The question we are often asked by our customers is “Are we doing enough?” There is always more you can do. There is no silver bullet to secure your data and network. Security is best accomplished through a layered approach. The number of layers and comprehensiveness of each layer are a matter of degrees and should be discussed on a recurring basis.
There are certain basic security protocols that every business should have, such as a business-class firewall device, spam filtering, and – of course – business-class anti-virus. Most importantly would be a policy of having strong passwords on the network and devices. Even the most secure device is easily hacked with weak passwords. What should your password policy be? Where that line is drawn is a decision your business needs to make for itself. For example, a twenty (20) character password is more secure than a six (6) character password. Which is appropriate? The answer may depend on what kind of data you are trying to protect. Are we protecting a customer list, or are we protecting customer social security numbers? Not all data are equal. A twenty character password would obviously detract from usability of the system, so if it is a password that needs to be typed regularly, chances are your users will not be pleased with your choice and productivity can even suffer in extreme cases.