Technology News: Study Examines Security Vs. Ease Of Use Online

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Research by RSA Security has found that the biggest challenge in online security is balancing the need for those security measures with the need to keep the consumer experience friendly.

The 12-month study on usability testing and security technology were conducted by the RSA Security Usability Lab and User Experience Design Team in conjunction with the company's Consumer Research Team. Among the findings:

* Consumers value better security, but financial institutions need to provide it with a minimum level of perceived distraction.

* Consistency of process increases perception of ease-of-use and reduces the perceived distraction in performing security measures online.

* It is important to consistently reassure users as to the security of their online information without alarming them.

* While users do not want to be bothered unnecessarily by security measures, they are prepared to willingly provide extra verification information when they understand why it is being requested.

* When it comes to security provided by their financial institutions, 70% of consumers were "extremely" or "very" interested in behind-the-scenes security measures.

* Eighty-seven percent of online bankers expressed an interest in site-to-user authentication, with one-in-five saying they were "extremely interested" and over half saying they were "extremely" or "very interested." Site-to-user authentication displays a personal image to users upon log-in to demonstrate the authenticity of the site.

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