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Elizabeth Stobert, Carleton University

Elizabeth Stobert, Carleton University

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ITB 201

Event Contact:

Dr. Fei Chiang, Dr. Ridha Khedri


Users are a key part of the security landscape and a central part of the motivation for computer security. Rather than dismissing them as the weakest link in the system, we can better understand their motivations and coping strategies to design for their cognitive strengths and contextual needs. In this talk I will discuss the role of the end user in authentication and how my work applies methodology and results from cognitive psychology to better understand and design for them. I will present how my work uses this approach to improve the design of authentication systems so that they better meet the needs of users while remaining secure. In particular, I will present my work on understanding how users cope with password demands, improving password memorability, and designing security systems that take advantage of contextual information to authenticate users.

Bio: Elizabeth Stobert received her PhD in computer science from Carleton University in 2015. Her research is in usable security, examining the human factors affecting security systems. Her work is interdisciplinary and integrates research and perspectives from cognitive psychology into the design and evaluation of computer security systems. She was a senior researcher in the System Security group at ETH Zürich, and will join Concordia University in January as an NSERC post-doctoral fellow. Her work has been published in prestigious HCI and computer security venues including SOUPS, ACM SIGCHI, ACM CCS, and IEEE TDSC, and she was the winner of the best paper award at the Passwords 2015 conference.