There are about 1.18 billion websites online today with three new sites created every second. At the same time, roughly 1 billion people across the globe live with a disability, many relying on software that sits behind barriers to access. If we want inclusivity to keep pace, it’s paramount that the software we’re building and maintaining is accessible to all.
That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that Invicti Enterprise has achieved WCAG 2.1 AA compliance, which means we can better support customers that are committed to accessibility. Set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a set of documents with a clear goal in mind: inclusiveness.
Tech giants like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are already doing their part with innovation to support accessibility and inclusiveness, and we’re proud to be one of the first vendors in the application security industry to follow that lead. Through accessibility in software, we can help break down barriers and give everyone the same opportunities to thrive.
What WCAG means for accessibility
In the physical world, examples of accessibility are everywhere: wheelchair ramps, braille signage, and elevators are common where we work, live, and go about our daily lives. While these are designed to reduce or eliminate potential challenges for those with disabilities, they sometimes improve usability for all – if you’ve ever pushed a stroller or luggage over a curb cutout designed for wheelchairs, you’ve experienced that shared and improved usability without a second thought.
Designing with accessibility in mind can clearly make life easier and more convenient for everyone, but what about producing software with the same goals? When applications and websites are designed through the lens of inclusiveness, it makes the systems, information, and environments much more usable and meaningful for a wider audience of users, especially those with auditory, visual, cognitive, neurological, or physical challenges.
In order to meet these needs, the standards for accessibility compliance are high. There are 13 criteria for success which ladder up to four key principles:
- Perceivable: UI components and information provided need to be presentable to users in ways they can perceive with all of their senses.
- Operable: UI components and navigation features need to be operable and can’t include interactions that a user is unable to perform.
- Understandable: Both the information and how to operate the UI needs to be understandable by all users.
- Robust: The content should be all-encompassing and robust so that a wide range of user agents and assistive technologies can interpret it.
WCAG dictates that, if any of these four guiding principles are untrue, the site or application is unusable to those with disabilities. There are varying levels to achieve in accessibility compliance, too, such as Level A for a site that only some users can access, and Level AA for a site that almost all users can access. By ensuring that you have those AA checks, accessibility increases dramatically. That enables greater innovation, easier collaboration, and a much more inclusive work environment.
Maintaining equal access for all
As one of few AppSec testing tools with WCAG 2.1 AA compliance, we’re committed to investing the time and resources necessary to maintain that standard. This means making sure we build accessibility into all of our new Invicti Enterprise product features and consistently monitor the W3C for updates.
But we’re not stopping there. Our developers, QA testers, and designers are going through accessibility training and even participating in an Accessibility Champions program to make sure these efforts are integrated throughout our entire development process. We’re also dedicated to adding new checks to test for accessibility so that we keep everything covered as we grow.
WCAG recommendations are not just the go-to resource for website accessibility – they’re also a recognized ISO standard. By following these guidelines and ensuring everyone has equal opportunity to access your websites and software applications, you’re opening doors not only for existing users but also for potential new users. You may even find new talent pools when hiring for critical cybersecurity roles within your organization, which in turn will contribute to shrinking the skills gap plaguing the AppSec industry and help to keep talented employees on your team.
Learn more about WCAG compliance and what this means for Invicti Enterprise.