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Balancing functionality, usability and security in design

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Introduction

When designing new devices or applications there is a requirement nowadays to consider there functionality, usability and security. While there has been a push through secure-by-design guidelines for security to be built-in from the beginning there are still gaps in implementation and part of these gaps are design considerations of functionality and usability. Part of this that doing security well is hard work, but it should never block useful functionality for the user. Ideally, when security interferes with key software capabilities, the security must be tweaked. The answer should never be to abandon the functionality and certainly not to abandon the security. Though achieving this balance is admittedly not straightforward. This blog post will aim to look at this triad and how they can be balanced and not compromise each other.

Defining the Triad in design

A triangle can be used to help explain the relationship between the concepts of security, functionality and ease of …