While serving in the U.S. Navy, I worked on ship-to-shore communications systems. Unfortunately, most of the software programs I used weren’t very user friendly. In fact, they were usually just black screens with green text that you controlled with an old, track-ball mouse. This probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone, but working with such humdrum software for 12-hour shifts was often very mundane. But it did have ample security, as I didn’t experience any intercepted transmissions or data loss. However, ample security seems to be a bit uncommon these days.
Recently there have been many stories about security breaches from various industries. And it doesn’t look like any one is immune from it – even the IRS was breached. Of course, we never get the full story behind data breaches, as the news just reports snippets of information – like how many records were stolen, etc.
So, what’s really at stake? Your data!
We all understand why personal data breaches are bad, but what about business data that’s kept on databases? Is your data in the cloud, a private network, or perhaps a secure cloud? This data can be just as important to your business as your personal information is to you. In business, data is the product.
Most companies using our Contenta Publishing Suite use data to create technical documentation for the Aerospace and Defense industry. This is complex, structured data; but if you think the complexity of your data offers protection from hacking – forget it. Breaches can and do happen down to the personal-cloud level. And remember, it isn’t just your data that’s at stake; your company’s reputation suffers along with any data loss. So, what do you do with your data if you’re in the technical publication business? You trust it to secure software.
Your data is very important to SDL, so we take several measures to make sure your data is protected. We employ advanced, secure authentication practices while accessing or working with your data, and use permission-based access levels to ensure that only users with permission are allowed to see or touch the data. Likewise, we use permissions-based methods on role and group levels to control access to certain sections of your database. The Contenta Publishing Suite is also integrated with an Oracle database, which has multiple security layers that provide even more protection for your data. And, of course, in addition to other measures, we support the latest operating systems and web servers with all the latest security patches installed. But even with all this security, it shouldn’t mean the software is necessarily painful or mundane to use.
“Delighting the User is my goal in everything I do”
At SDL we take a two-pronged approach to building our software. Adding to what we’ve already covered, we bring multiple User-Experience professionals into the early stages of our development projects. As a member of the SDL UX-Design community, I represent users throughout the development process and make sure that the software is as user-friendly as possible. Delighting the User is my goal in everything I do. To help do this, we develop user personas while building our design mock-ups; which are then reviewed with users to make sure the product we design is the product you need.
A cryptographic layer in your data shouldn’t be necessary to make your data safe, nor should you need to sacrifice usability for security. You really can have both; user-friendly software and data security in your S1000D technical publication system.
If you’d like to participate with SDL in UX research, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, to learn more about the Contenta Publishing Suite for S1000D, please check us out here!