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Business Essay Example: Security Trade-offs

4 pages
962 words
Sewanee University of the South
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A trade-off is a decision relating to situations where an organization or an enterprise diminishes one property, quality, or quantity for another thing to be gained. In essence, one product must be sacrificed for a different one to be obtained. On the other hand, security solutions are techniques used for protection and authentication of sensitive information against threat, theft, and access by unauthorized personnel. The defense strategy comprises of detection, prevention, and responding to threats through the use of IT services, software tools, and security policies. Security is a crucial concern for any organization or business (Jacko 2012). Whereas opponents suggest that trade-offs do not assist in the implementation of security in organizations, opponents claim that it has done more good than harm by enabling agencies pay attention to what is essential.

Research has shown that most of the managers do not care about technology as long as it performs its primary objective. The only moment people think about technology is when the users cannot find what they are looking for or when the technology is not working the way it is supposed to perform tasks. Notably, the role of most network administrator is to ensure the users have everything that they require. Apparently, the main task of the network administrators it to restrict things and information from getting accessed by unauthorized personnel. Technology ought to be useful as well as usable to the users (Sahar 2013). Ostensibly, the main challenge that exists in the implementation of security is the trade-off between usability and security.

Often time human beings perform daily tasks using application technology. Before an application is installed on the computer, an individual enables an additional functionality that makes compromises the security of the computer system. Also, it makes the pc more susceptible to attacks by viruses. Reports from research indicate that the more technology is made secured, the less it becomes usable. There are conflicts in organizations as to whether to make a system usable at the expense of security. To improve the usability of a system to facilitate the needs of the end user, the worst might happen in that there will be low security. During the design process of technologies, many questions are raised as to whether to create technology that is usable as well as secured (Von 2010). However, most of the properties are difficult to collaborate in situations where security and usability are the priorities required.

A case study was conducted by Hayes Management Consulting about medical information. Apparently, the information found in the patient`s portal is free, yet it is so guarded. Balancing the equilibrium between security and usability has provided health providers with a lot of challenges. Patients in the hospitals want the advancement in technology to be incorporated in hospitals where their confidential information has to be protected. Health providers are focusing on user-friendly systems whereas patients suggest that they should improve their security level. Unfortunately, the equation does not balance on the side of the providers of health. Although at times the patients support the security measures kept in place by health providers, they often complain not to find specific pieces of information that should be available. However, hospitals opt to settle for security at the expense of usability since it deals with sensitive information regarding the patients.

It is believed that the harder it is to operate a system the more secure it is. Unfortunately, attackers and hackers get wiser every day, and those responsible for securing systems have to race with time to ensure the security improved continually. However, the advancement in security does not put into consideration usability by the operators. A good example is illustrated when the degree of usability would be high when there were no security measures such as authentication in place(Kohler 2015). On the contrary, a situation that requires an individual to type a password, which is followed by a code sent through text message, would make usability more difficult. In essence, complex systems regarding the security make the usability difficult and vice versa.

I think the trade-off between security and usability is significant because it enables different organizations to modify their systems in ways that best suit the enterprise. Some organizations such as hospitals and financial institutions need to prioritize security at the expense of usability of the users. Also, the systems working with sensitive information have to put precautions in place to ensure the clients trust the facilities. Apparently, a smallmistake may be the beginning of a colossal disaster. Other institutions that do not deal with sensitive information can compromise usability at the expense of security. Also, trade-offs provide managers on areas to focus their attention on and the ones to avoid(Tryfonas 2017).

A trade-off operates in a way that one thing has to be sacrificed for another one to be achieved. On the other hand, security solutions are measures kept in place to ensure that information are protected from reaching or getting into unauthorized personnel. Security and usability are trade-offs experienced during implementation of security solutions. Unfortunately, usability and security are incompatible, and an individual has to select one at the expense of the other. Apparently, trade-offs between security and usability are essential because they enable managers in organizations to choose what to pay more attention following the objectives of the business.



Jacko, J.A. ed., 2012. Human-computer interaction handbook: Fundamentals, evolving technologies, and emerging applications. CRC press.

Kohler, J., 2015. Tunable Security for Deployable Data Outsourcing. KIT Scientific Publishing.

Sahar, F. 2013. Trade-offs between Usability and Security.International Journal of Engineering and Technology.

Tryfonas, T. ed., 2017. Human Aspects of Information Security, Privacy, and Trust: 5th International Conference HAS 2017, Held as Part of HCI International 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada, July 9-14, 2017, Proceedings (Vol. 10292). Springer.

Von Roessing, R., 2010. The business model for information security. ISACA.


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