Conference Paper

Two experiences designing for effective security

DOI: 10.1145/1073001.1073004 Conference: Proceedings of the 1st Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, SOUPS 2005, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, July 6-8, 2005
Source: DBLP


In our research, we have been concerned with the question of how to make relevant features of security situations visible to users in order to allow them to make informed decisions regarding potential privacy and security problems, as well as regarding potential implications of their actions. To this end, we have designed technical infrastructures that make visible the configurations, activities, and implications of available security mechanisms. This thus allows users to make informed choices and take coordinated and appropriate actions when necessary. This work differs from the more traditional security usability work in that our focus is not only on the usability of security mechanism (e.g., the ease-of-use of an access control interface), but how security can manifest itself as part of people's interactions with and through information systems (i.e., how people experience and interpret privacy and security situations, and are enabled or constrained by existing technological mechanisms to act appropriately). In this paper, we report our experiences designing, developing, and testing two technical infrastructures for supporting this approach for usable security.

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    • "While an effective mental model does not need to include all the technical system details , it does need to be functional and allow users to predict both observable system behaviours and the consequences of the users' actions [4]. Concealing system details as a means of reducing complexity may leave users unable to respond to unexpected system events [9]; enough technical details must be provided so that users can make informed decisions as they interact with security tools [8]. We cannot hide the inner complexity for the sake of interface simplicity, if the user is then left with an ineffective mental models for those times they must interact. "
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    • "Further, literature and history shows that the ICT evolution is heavily linked with the core concepts of creativity which enables new technologies to emerge. Gupta [20] introduced the idea of creative knowledge networks that have the capacity to " unfold tremendous creative energy of our society by helping people dream and converting these dreams into reality by networking with other individuals and institutions. " Likewise, the importance of collaboration, for our focus digital or virtual collaboration, is identified as being a valued commodity for successful innovation [21]. "
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    • "In order for a user to make an informed decision, certain aspects of security situations need to be made visible to the user. Rogerio de Paula et al. [3] report their experiences in designing, developing, and testing technical infrastructures in order to see how security is manifested during these phases. The discovered that the implementations and integration of various components of today's technical infrastructure is awkward and hard to use. "
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