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May 17, 2017

With Mobility, Security Shouldn't Compromise the User Experience

By Special Guest
Simon Berman, Vice President, Product Marketing, Capriza

In the world of mobility, user experience is quite literally everything. Get it right and adoption goes through the roof. Get it wrong and suffer the consequences of a failed initiative. In fact, Gartner recently predicted that more than one-third of enterprise mobile apps will fail due to lack of adoption driven by poor user experiences. Very rarely is it something in the middle. The term ‘User Experience’ represents how pleasing the overall experience is to the user, and is derived from many different factors including usability, intuitiveness, simplicity, functionality, design and responsiveness.

Now, if I were to suggest that enterprise security is also a key ingredient of user experience, most people would probably scoff at the notion. After all, security is that foundational block of the architecture that needs to be in place before anything gets built. It’s also not as obvious as all the others from the end user’s perspective.

We always talk about how enterprise applications were designed and built before mobility even existed and that it’s no surprise they don’t lend themselves easily to mobile consumption. The exact same thing can be said about enterprise grade security for mobile devices, which in many cases is starting to have a material, and often negative, impact on the user experience.                                                                    

By way of example, I was recently speaking with a large retailer whose in-store mobile apps were experiencing unacceptably slow response times of over eight seconds to log in to the backend application. And although the application took exactly the same time from the desktop, user expectations are such that wait times of anything more than a couple of seconds on a mobile device are simply unacceptable.

It turns out that the network topology at each store was comprised of dedicated Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections to the corporate data center, established in order to ensure that the sensitive data (such as credit card numbers and other financial information) is secure in transit. The problem, however, is that the routes those packets of data actually take as they traverse the Internet from store to data center and back are both unpredictable and out of the company’s control. So with an interactive enterprise application, these secure transports directly impacted the responsiveness of the application.

With remote employees and field workers making up a significant part of today’s corporate workforce, this phenomenon is rapidly becoming a common occurrence. The network security approach to support workers beyond the edges of the enterprises worked fine for PC and laptop-based application access, but not for mobile devices.

That’s why more businesses are placing importance on providing employees with a first class user experience which integrates enterprise-grade level security that doesn’t compromise performance.

Here are some key elements that CIOs should consider when implementing mobility solutions:

1. Geo-optimize your network routing – One of the many benefits of using an established and secure cloud infrastructure platform (such as Amazon AWS) is that high-speed connectivity and routing performance between data centers can be utilized. This ensures that long-distance routing for the transmission of data between regions is optimized. Such providers not only have regional centers around the continental U.S., but also around the world, meaning that wherever employees are they can have a truly mobile experience.

2. Reliance on the latest encryption is central – It’s important that any system you use leverages the latest encryption algorithms and the most efficient transport methods. For example, we use the NIST-compliant AES-256 encryption algorithms over the more efficient HTTPS transport (rather than IPSec VPNs), which allows us to meet the most stringent demands for the security of the data in transit and in a more efficient manner.

3. Use constantly changing encryption keys – Data thieves today are smarter than ever, and it’s vital to utilize the highest levels of IP protection techniques possible to keep your employees and data safe. One such method is to use encryption keys that rotate with every user session to mitigate the risk of sensitive data being lost.

While security needs to be a top priority for every business, many businesses’ existing enterprise architecture is ill-equipped for mobility and is adversely impacting the end user experience. However, by taking advantage of – and staying up to date with –the latest mobile security and architecture technologies on the market, businesses don’t necessarily have to compromise on performance and security to achieve a fantastic user experience.

About the Author

Simon is responsible for Capriza’s product marketing and is passionate about bringing products to market and developing and growing the business. He brings over 20 years of product marketing and management experience in enterprise mobility, IoT, and application and network testing. Prior to Capriza, he led the product marketing efforts at Jasper (acquired by Cisco), and has led product teams at AtHoc (acquired by BlackBerry) and Mercury (acquired by Hewlett Packard).


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