Why The Security UI Could Help With Hiring

The incoming generation of security analysts has specific expectations for the user interface of security software, and businesses should pay attention.

Kelly Sheridan, Former Senior Editor, Dark Reading

September 13, 2016

2 Min Read

Businesses across all industries are scrambling to hire cybersecurity talent at a time when demand for skilled workers far outpaces the supply.

Suggested strategies for recruiting security pros include adjusting job descriptions and boosting compensation, experts recommend. However, there is another step organizations can take to close the talent gap: improving the software their security workers use.

Companies cannot hire to scale using outdated security tools, explains ProtectWise co-founder and CEO Scott Chasin. Older products are losing their relevance as teams try to handle every alert that comes their way.

"The status quo of the presentation layer in security is pretty much a joke," says Chasin. "Overall, the evolution of the presentation layer in security sets the path of not only where we've been and where we are, but where we're going."

The security user experience (UX) has barely evolved in the last 10 years, he continues, and many tools are not created with a focus on design. It's difficult for teams to succeed when analysts are expected to use pie charts and line graphs to work together.

What's more, the incoming generation of security analysts has a specific set of expectations for the tools they will use.

Given their preference for mobile technologies, it may be easy to assume the youngest security pros expect a simple user interface (UI) with large buttons, similar to those they navigate on their smartphones. However, this type of elegance isn't what they're looking for, says Chasin.

"Looking at the next generation, they understand complex user experiences," he explains. "They thrive off a user experience that's deep, has layers, and isn't afraid to present data in a wide array."

The newest wave of security pros would benefit from visual and immersive platforms similar to those found in video games. This type of UI, which he refers to as "immersive security," enables a rich and visual experience.

It may also facilitate collaboration, as the sophisticated experience enables workers to be more efficient and translates well to team-based settings. A sophisticated UX where multiple security practitioners are connected in real-time is similar to a gaming environment, which is easier for the next generation to learn.

"There is an element of presentation layer that needs to evolve, that needs to be compelling for the next generation," he explains. "It needs to speak to a human experience that they understand."

Providing new technologies to incoming security analysts could help employers close the talent gap. In order to address the skill shortage, Chasin says, businesses need to give inexperienced workers tools they can use to easily train. Being able to train a non-experienced analyst with a compelling UI is important, he emphasizes.

The sooner new employees learn to navigate security tools, the sooner more advanced security pros can go back to conducting sophisticated analysts without worrying about basic tasks. As a result, the business has more trained security pros and is more strongly protected.

About the Author(s)

Kelly Sheridan

Former Senior Editor, Dark Reading

Kelly Sheridan was formerly a Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focused on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial services. Sheridan earned her BA in English at Villanova University. You can follow her on Twitter @kellymsheridan.

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