This year has brought many changes to everyone across the globe and, as a result, humankind has demonstrated time and time again just how resilient it is, and how people have been able to adaptive to their ever-changing environments in the face of uncertainty.
For many this has meant a transition to working remotely from their homes and no longer traveling to the office. This has also meant that those who were accustomed to working closely with colleagues throughout the day had to adjust to working more on their own and interacting with colleagues through virtual means.
With all of this becoming the new normal, online support and self-service options have become more important than ever. This makes the news that I am about to share even more exciting about the next generation of the RSA Link community and support portal that will very soon makes its debut.
This is not new information for many of you, as I recently presented the news in a virtual session during this year's Archer Summit. But, as this new RSA Link experience will arrive this month, this article will serve as another sneak peek at what is in store.
Although a major upgrade was already in RSA Link’s future, the timetable was accelerated when it was announced at the end of last year that the Jive-x platform on which RSA Link is built would be reaching its End-of-Life on December 31st, 2020.
After significant research, we made the decision to migrate RSA Link to the best-in-class Khoros Communities platform, which is the platform used by many other companies including Microsoft, Samsung, PayPal, Splunk, Dell and countless others.
As part of the preparation for this change, we worked closely with a professional User Experience firm to design the most high-traffic pages and the overall website structure, in order to ensure that end-users would be provided the very best experience possible. We also aggregated, studied and leveraged feedback that was provided over the years by customers, partners and employees in order to take into account any suggestions and to address any potential pain points.
Moving to a new, modern platform is very appealing to us, as it opens up many possibilities that have not been technically feasible on the current platform.
Since the beginning of the year, we have been working hard to plan, design and develop the new RSA Link website, and we are extremely excited about the progress that has been made thus far. Meanwhile, we have been painstakingly preparing for the systematic migration of all existing content, users and other assets on the current platform.
What to Expect
At this point you may be wondering what you should be expecting with the migration. Despite moving to a new platform, RSA Link will still be your one-stop shop for accessing product resources, participating in the online forums and managing your customer support cases. That will not change. All of your access will remain in tact, including your subscriptions to product advisories, and you won’t even be required to re-register or change your password.
The changes you can expect are all improvements that will serve to enhance your experience on RSA Link.
One such example is that, upon logging in to the new platform for the first time, you will be prompted to choose a username by which you will be known throughout the community. This will allow you to have a degree of anonymity – if desired – when participating in community forums.
You will also see other improvements including easier access to the resources you need and a more tailored experience based on which RSA products you use or the role you have. Additionally, you will have more control over your preferences, subscriptions (i.e. email and in-site notifications) and other settings.
The New Features
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most exciting enhancements and improvements that await you in the new RSA Link platform.
First of all, the navigation on the new RSA Link platform has been re-invented in order to make it easier than ever to reach your destination. The primary menu in the website header has been converted from a simple drop-down menu into a mega menu, where you will be able to browse by product or resource type to quickly arrive on the page that you need in as few clicks as possible.
Not only is this primary menu available in the header on all pages, but you will find an even more detailed menu specific to each product that persists across the various product pages, which allows you to easily jump from page to page. Menu items will also be dynamic depending on the level of access you have on a given page.
The search functionality in the new RSA Link platform is vastly improved, and is powered by a very formidable search engine. Similar to the current website, a global search button – represented by a magnifying glass icon – is located in the upper-right corner of the screen. When clicked, the search bar will appear below the primary menu which will return results from across the entire website, including all content types such as advisories, documentation and discussion threads, as well as pages, groups, other users, and even the direct messages you’ve sent.
Most pages will also have a contextual menu near the top of the screen which pre-filters the results to only be relevant to the page. For example, if you were to perform a search on a Knowledge Base page, then only knowledge base articles for the respective product would be returned. These contextual search bars also have the option to reduce the scope of the your search even further, by using the drop-down menu to the left or right of the search bar.
Significant work has gone into the website home page in the new RSA Link platform to make it more useful than ever before. Unlike the current RSA Link website, which has a fairly static home page, the new platform is very dynamic and ever-changing to give quick access to new and trending content that you find relevant, while still being a launchpad to the resources that brought you to the website.
New users – which will be everyone when the website first launches – will also see a new “Getting Started” section, which will promote helpful guides and tutorials for becoming familiar with everything that RSA Link has to offer.
We will also be working closely with teams across RSA to feature and promote high-value resources and announcements front-and-center.
In addition to having more content visible, the new RSA Link platform leverages analytics and integrations with other RSA systems to provide a tailored experience on the home page (and throughout the entire website) for users that are logged in. (Some of this functionality may not be available immediately upon launch but will be introduced shortly thereafter.)
For example, upon logging in, RSA Link will identify which products you own and will update the page sections accordingly to make the most of the available space to present what you care about the most. This means that if you only have the RSA Archer Suite product then you will see an RSA Archer-specific home page promoting content and resources focused around that product.
Furthermore, when logged in, you will find that the home page becomes more of a dashboard where you will have instant access to important data such as your open customer support cases, your subscriptions for which you receive email notifications, the forum threads on which you’ve been participating, and more.
Product Landing Page
Every page on the new RSA Link website has been thoroughly examined in order to identify how best to represent the resources so that your visit is as intuitive as possible. For example, as many users tend to treat their product landing page as a sort of “home page” rather than beginning on the actual home page, these pages have been designed to have a similar user experience. As mentioned previously, the product pages will have a persistent navigation menu that will allow you to easily browse between various pages.
Another new feature being introduced is what we refer to as the “On This Page” section, which displays at-a-glance what you will find on the current page. This will help you to know fairly quickly whether or not the resources you need are on the current page or if you must navigate to another location. The various page elements have also been re-invented to provide the most applicable content to assist you during your visit.
One of our favorite enhancements in the new RSA Link website is the new and improved product documentation page structure, which has been redesigned to more closely adhere to industry standards and best practices for technical documentation. Some of these features include a persistent, independent navigation menu for the entire documentation set, and easy-to-access options to switch between various product versions and languages.
Unlike the current RSA Link website where there is a different documentation landing page for each major/minor product version (for example, version 6.8, version 6.7, etc.), the documentation pages are consolidated in the new RSA Link platform so that you only need to navigate to a single documentation page and will then have direct access to all product versions and languages.
The last enhancement I will be discussing is something we are all extremely excited about, which involves the login and authentication for the RSA Link websites, including both RSA Link and myRSA. In conjunction with the launch of the new RSA Link platform, the single sign-on system will undergo a major upgrade to significantly improve the user experience.
Not only will the user interface be updated and more mobile-friendly, but users will also have new options available to them for setting up their risk-based authentication methods. In addition to the security questions and On-Demand Authentication options available today, users will have the opportunity to leverage the RSA Authenticate mobile app and/or a FIDO security key such as the Yubico YubiKey for multi-factor authentication on RSA Link.
This means that, whenever prompted for additional verification upon logging in, you can do so with a simple tap of your finger on a security key, your phone or your smart watch.
Once the new website is available, there will be many resources available to help you to familiarize yourself with the new functionality and available features. One resource in particular will be the new Getting Started knowledge base where you will find several helpful guides and tutorials.
We are extremely excited for you all to experience the new RSA Link, and we look forward to the new opportunities that this new platform brings to help us even further strengthen our partnership with you in managing your digital risk.
Jeff Shurtliff, CISSP, CISM
Sr Program Manager, RSA Link