Roman, the Kerio Control team lead, discusses why complexity should never work against users of security software.
Which technology challenges did you have to overcome in Kerio Control?
The biggest challenge was IPsec. We integrated an open source project which saved a ton of time we would have otherwise spent writing our own IKE Daemon or packet encryption. But it still required tremendous amount of research and getting to know how IPsec works just to integrate it. IPsec is a super complex security technology and it comes with various compatibility issues. There’s no quick how-to, you just have to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. The learning curve is steep.
Now the true challenge is to find to right balance between flexibility and ease of use. Kerio believes that things must be easy for the user, in this case an IT administrator. So we intentionally trade some flexibility for better usability so that an IT admin has a good opportunity to configure his or her UTM correctly.
Some other security vendors trump the flexibility of their products. That is great for someone who wants to be a subject matter expert. But it comes at a high cost in terms of trainings and certifications you need just to make sure you are not compromising security of your network. This approach is foreign to us at Kerio. We believe, and I personally preach that to my team, that everything about Kerio Control should be simple, so that our users are confident when they secure their network.
Did you make any changes when you took over as the Kerio Control project lead?
The role brought me much closer to the customer. When you are a regular developer, you sometimes tend to be fairly isolated from customers, your hear about their experiences indirectly. I make a point of meeting our customers regularly and getting real insight into their issues. That helps me design the product in a way that pleases our customers.
Which tech trends do you find interesting?
I’m saying this somewhat facetiously, but I’m still somewhat puzzled by the popularity of tablets. My personal preference is a laptop for the greater flexibility it provides. I use a tablet mainly for games but I feel it’s a pretty weak argument for owning one. I’m well aware that I am an outcast with this regard even within my own team at Kerio.
What’s on your smartphone?
I have an Android phone with a set of fairly basic apps. No games. I’m a cyclist and I’ve just got a glider pilot license so I use a weather app fairly often. Email and calendar of course and an expense tracking app. Sports Tracker is my go to app for cycling, I started using it back in the Symbian time.
Original article available on our blog.
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