CUA of the Month – September, 2010

Radhika Rayadu Vooruvakili
"The mission of security is to stay ahead of the curve of everything bad out there... I had to build a work flow from the users' perspective, so they could keep their organization's firewalls up to date without having to manage this manually every day."
 
Radhika Rayadu Vooruvakili
User Experience Lead Designer
Cisco Systems

Creating Security in an Unsecure World

by Jim Garrett

Radhika Rayadu Vooruvakili has been the User Experience Lead Designer for one and half years with Cisco Systems in the Security Technologies Business Unit. This BU focuses on providing firewalls, Intrusion Prevention Systems, and VPNs that are devices deployed by enterprises to secure their networks. In today's world, it's no mystery that maintaining the security of major companies is a huge responsibility. It is essential for the flow of business in our computerized, interlinked world.

Radhika leads a team of three user experience designers and works with product management, engineers, and customers. It is her responsibility to ensure usable products with the right information architecture, and the right interactive design.

"I work with a couple of products – specifically, Cisco Security Manager, and Adaptive Security Device Manager. These applications are bought by big companies like Wells Fargo to manage large amounts of hardware they buy from Cisco. They could have five to six hundred firewalls that they want to deploy around the world and want a central place to manage the configuration of these boxes," said Radhika.

Into this crucial undertaking enters the usability factor. As a top-level professional, Radhika wanted to further her understanding of usability to be most proficient with her substantial responsibility. "I wanted to get training from a good organization that had been around for a long time. A friend told me about HFI's CUA program and I looked it up on the internet. I liked the idea of certification. The training gave me a well-rounded understanding of what user experience is, not just design. It gave me a holistic angle that really benefited me in my work," added Radhika.

In the process of evangelizing usability at Cisco, Radhika designed the usability of the event management application for trouble shooting security. This is a completely new application that focuses on capturing millions of events coming from security devices. And then the question came up – how can an administrator make sense of all this data? This indeed presented usability challenges. "How do you design a user interface that shows data coming in at such a high rate, and how do you filter and sort the data so you can easily find what you're looking for," explained Radhika.

This is obviously a huge challenge when events come in at 30,000 logs per second. This is a lot of information for a user to process. The user needs to know the top attackers in the last 24 hours, and the top firewall denials in the last ten minutes. "We were able to do a great design that used a time slider so the most critical information could be seen in that perspective. People were very happy with the results," noted Radhika.

"The mission of security is to stay ahead of the curve of everything bad out there. There is always the occasional worm, like the one dropped on Google, for example, where security companies hadn't been able to build a defense into their products yet. My role is to find the best and most effective way to always be on and available so our clients can respond to these threats. So every 24 hours they can download a security bundle from the Cisco website. Now the companies can put these updates out to their firewalls so they can start to respond immediately. I had to build a work flow from the users' perspective, so they could keep their organization's firewalls up to date without having to manage this manually every day," said Radhika.

So even securing a company's computer networks comes down to usability issues. "Usability knowledge from the CUA program helped me with the restraints of designing the products. I found the usability testing information very helpful in analyzing data we got. My advice to anyone looking for a well-rounded and complete overview of what usability is to take the CUA certification program," offered Radhika.

For evangelizing usability in her department at Cisco and for applying her CUA training knowledge so skillfully, Human Factors International is pleased to name Radhika Rayadu Vooruvakili as HFI's Certified Usability Analyst of the month.

CUA of the Month

Each month we highlight the successes and achievements of a different member of our CUA community. If you are a Certified Usability Analyst and would like to be considered for CUA of the Month recognition, please send a brief professional bio to hfi@humanfactors.com

Privacy policy

Reviewed: 18 Mar 2014

This Privacy Policy governs the manner in which Human Factors International, Inc., an Iowa corporation (“HFI”) collects, uses, maintains and discloses information collected from users (each, a “User”) of its humanfactors.com website and any derivative or affiliated websites on which this Privacy Policy is posted (collectively, the “Website”). HFI reserves the right, at its discretion, to change, modify, add or remove portions of this Privacy Policy at any time by posting such changes to this page. You understand that you have the affirmative obligation to check this Privacy Policy periodically for changes, and you hereby agree to periodically review this Privacy Policy for such changes. The continued use of the Website following the posting of changes to this Privacy Policy constitutes an acceptance of those changes.

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If you have any questions or comments about this Privacy Policy, you may contact HFI via any of the following methods:
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hfi@humanfactors.com
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Terms and Conditions for Public Training Courses

Reviewed: 18 Mar 2014

Cancellation of Course by HFI

HFI reserves the right to cancel any course up to 14 (fourteen) days prior to the first day of the course. Registrants will be promptly notified and will receive a full refund or be transferred to the equivalent class of their choice within a 12-month period. HFI is not responsible for travel expenses or any costs that may be incurred as a result of cancellations.

Cancellation of Course by Participants (All regions except India)

$100 processing fee if cancelling within two weeks of course start date.

Cancellation / Transfer by Participants (India)

4 Pack + Exam registration: Rs. 10,000 per participant processing fee (to be paid by the participant) if cancelling or transferring the course (4 Pack-CUA/CXA) registration before three weeks from the course start date. No refund or carry forward of the course fees if cancelling or transferring the course registration within three weeks before the course start date.

Individual Modules: Rs. 3,000 per participant ‘per module’ processing fee (to be paid by the participant) if cancelling or transferring the course (any Individual HFI course) registration before three weeks from the course start date. No refund or carry forward of the course fees if cancelling or transferring the course registration within three weeks before the course start date.

Exam: Rs. 3,000 per participant processing fee (to be paid by the participant) if cancelling or transferring the pre agreed CUA/CXA exam date before three weeks from the examination date. No refund or carry forward of the exam fees if requesting/cancelling or transferring the CUA/CXA exam within three weeks before the examination date.

No Recording Permitted

There will be no audio or video recording allowed in class. Students who have any disability that might affect their performance in this class are encouraged to speak with the instructor at the beginning of the class.

Course Materials Copyright

The course and training materials and all other handouts provided by HFI during the course are published, copyrighted works proprietary and owned exclusively by HFI. The course participant does not acquire title nor ownership rights in any of these materials. Further the course participant agrees not to reproduce, modify, and/or convert to electronic format (i.e., softcopy) any of the materials received from or provided by HFI. The materials provided in the class are for the sole use of the class participant. HFI does not provide the materials in electronic format to the participants in public or onsite courses.