Addressing the Security-Convenience Paradox – F5 Curve of Convenience Report 2020

In many cases throughout our daily lives, we often end up choosing between two general options. Coffee or tea? Bicycle or car? TV shows or movies? When it comes to user experiences in applications and digital activities – security or convenience?

According to the latest Curve of Convenience 2020 Report by the applications delivery networking company F5, the Asia-Pacific region is more or less leaning to the middle. In “The Privacy-Convenience Paradox Media Briefing” held virtually on August 12th by F5, the company presented various statistics supporting this fact.


Keiichiro Nozaki, Senior Marketing, Evangelist at APCJ F5, started the briefing by explaining the methodology used by F5 in surveying a total of 4,107 respondents throughout Asia-Pacific – in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.

The first insight provided in the research was that data breaches do not affect consumer behaviour in the short term, instead their trust in the compromised applications diminishes over time. In the 2020 study, a staggering 96 per cent of respondents continued to use an app following a high-profile breach, compared to F5’s similar study in 2018 that saw 72 per cent of respondents state that they would not use an app when data is compromised.

However, according to the report, businesses should not take this as a “safety net” and instead educate their users about data security. This is reflected in the fact that there is an 11.5 per cent average decrease of users’ trust in apps across all categories.

Moreover, F5 concluded that data security is “table stakes” and user experience defines the value of the brand to the customer, with 38 per cent saying security is the most important feature in an application while 22 per cent chose user-friendliness of the app.

This proves that both security and convenience are important for users when using an app. To achieve such convenience however, appropriated data from users is needed to implement personalisation and customisation.

On that note, an average of 69 per cent of the respondents across all markets are willing to share/store personal data on applications. 43 per cent said that they rely on platform providers to protect their data, 32 per cent rely on the government and 25 per cent rely on themselves.

F5 also learned that markets display varying emphasis on convenience and security across Asia-Pacific, highlighting how each market is on a different stage of their “security-convenience” journey.

“What is clear in this study is that convenience and security are non-binary – to win in a post-pandemic world, businesses must step up their digital transformation efforts and create seamless experiences that also seek to protect customers”, the report stated.

This is true in improving the user experiences and at the same time implement a stronger security to truly achieve a situation wherein both the consumers and providers are getting the same benefits. To do this, a collaboration between the customers and companies should be introduced.

“Partnering with consumers means that the industry can thrive and businesses, together with their digital partners, can create better solutions that deliver seamless yet secure experiences, any time, all the time. Ultimately, showing users what’s at stake will help them feel that they should be invested in their own protection”, stated Ankit Saurabh, Assistant Lecturer, School of Engineering and Technology at PSB Academy.

To end the briefing, Shahnawaz Backer, Principal Security Advisor at APCJ F5 provided three key takeaways: Bringing customers along the security journey, evolving traditional security and risk approaches and leveraging new technologies and the correct solutions.

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