Securing our digital infrastructure is so important, however there is a fine line between having a very secure computer, for example, but very difficult for someone to use because you have to log on 10 times to access 5 programs. On the other hand, users may get frustrated with security and have no security, leaving the PC open to anyone.
O’Reilly’s latest book “Security and Usability” helps IT professionals balance these two sides – having secure IT infrastructures but not getting in the way of end users.
“As the world around us makes clear every day, if people are unable to use secure computers, they will use computers that are not secure,” Cranor and Garfinkel remark in the preface to their book. Although theoretically secure, computers that aren’t usable do little to improve the security of their users because these machines push users to less secure platforms. “As it turns out, the converse is also true: systems that are usable but not secure are, in the end, not very usable either,” they note. This is because these systems don’t last: they get hacked, compromised, and otherwise rendered useless.
In the first book to be focused entirely on the subject of usability and
security, Cranor and Garfinkel present thirty-four groundbreaking essays
from leading security, usability, and human-computer interaction (HCI)
researchers around the world. Balancing theory and fundamental principles
with practical advice, they examine this important issue in detail.
“In order to build systems that are both secure and usable, it is
important to have some understanding of both the computer security field
and the human-computer interaction field. Most researchers and
practitioners have been trained in only one of these fields. Our hope is
that this book can help bridge the gaps for them and fill in some of the
important background they need to work in this interdisciplinary area,”
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