The World is Not Flat, It's Mobile

At Rapid7, we are always thinking about how we can make your life easier. Now that there are more mobile devices than people in the world1, our thoughts are turning toward mobile, specifically mobile versions of our Information Security applications. While we have no immediate plans, it's certainly an area we are interested in. But that depends on you, our customer. Are mobile versions of our Information Security applications something you would like to see Rapid7 consider for the future?

I am sure that by now you will have used a number of Enterprise Mobile Applications, as they have been with us for quite some time, to the point that we believe they may have become ubiquitous. These types of apps help you to quickly view the insights you need while you are on the go, generally using Dashboards. Insights are also readily available, allowing for quicker decisions making, where you no longer have to wait until you get into the office the next morning, or worse, wait for a month to receive a report.

We believe that one industry that could better support mobile people is Information Security. Rapid7 applications display actionable insights that look great on laptop and desktop monitors. Attempting to display the same actionable insights on a 5” screen may, of course, be a challenge. Let's consider a few scenarios where having, and not having, so-called Security-in-Your-Pocket (SiYP)2 might make a difference.

**Current Scenario
**After a hectic day of protecting your organization's security posture, you are ready to get home. Before you run for your train, you set up a few critical scans, and ensure they are all running before you leave the office. On the train, your attention remains on those scans. In fact, right now, you might as well be the only person on that train, you are oblivious to the world. You'll need the results in the morning for a report to the C-Level team, so you cannot relax. When you get home, the first thing you do is log in to check the scan status.

  

Only then, do you realize that one of the scans failed over an hour ago. Annoyed, you find out what the issue is with the failed scan, resolve the issue, and re-start it. Hopefully, it will be complete by the time you get into the office in the morning.

**Possible Future Scenario
**You are commuting home after a hectic day of protecting your organization's security posture. Before you left the office, you set up a few critical scans and checked to be sure they were all running. On the train, you take out your smartphone to check-in on those scans. You need the results for a report to the C-Level team in the morning, so you want to ensure all goes well.

 

It takes a couple of seconds to log into Nexpose mobile on your smartphone:

  (Conceptual Design)

Your eye runs over your customized dashboards to see if anything grabs your attention:

  (Conceptual Design)

Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, you navigate to the scan status screen:

  (Conceptual Design)

Finding that a scan has failed, you drill down for further insights, then quickly find, and resolve the issue. You are confident that the scan will now run successfully, and you've only lost a few minutes of scan time. That means you'll have the results in the morning, and a report to the C-Level team on time. Speaking of time, it's time you went back to that great novel for the rest of your commute.

 

Immediate Insights
The second scenario, and many others like it, show the benefits of having Security-in-Your-Pocket (SiYP). Yet, there are also downsides to 24/7/365 access. We all know that because we can look at work content when we are not at work, we probably will. However, in the war against information security breaches, having immediate insights close by—even while relaxing—might not be such a bad thing.

Mobility—The future of Rapid7 products? Have Your Say
So, again, while we have no immediate plans to build mobile versions of our products, whether or not we build one depends on your needs.

  • What are your thoughts on Security-in-Your-Pocket?

  • Is it something you would use frequently, occasionally or not at all?

  • If you would use mobile versions of Rapid7 products, what are the types of products and features you would most like to see?

Have your say by leaving us a comment or by emailing us at ux_research [at] rapid7.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Ger Joyce
Senior UX Researcher, Rapid7

  1. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/there-are-official ly-more-mobile-devices-than-people-in-the-world-9780518.html
  2. Eloff, J. H., Eloff, M. M., Bella, M. A. B., Isherwood, D., Dlamini, M. T., & Ngassam, E. K. (2014). Information Security Innovation: Personalisation of Security Services. Information Security in Diverse Computing Environments, 303.