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Seminar: Sonia Chiasson, Carleton University

Seminar: Sonia Chiasson, Carleton University

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ITB 201

Event Contact:

Dr. Fei Chiang, Dr. Douglas Stebila


Achieving practical cybersecurity by acknowledging human users

There is a prevailing belief that users are the weakest link the security chain.  I will discuss how this perspective is inherently counterproductive to achieving increased cyber security and explore alternatives with a higher chance of improving security. Why do users behave insecurely even though most will readily state that security and privacy are important to them?  This talk will cover some of our research exploring reasons why users' actions do not necessarily reflect their desire for security.  I will discuss our work  using eye-tracking to determine how users make phishing determinations,  and how we can persuade users to behave more securely through improving their mental models of passwords and by making adjustments to the system configurations.

Speaker Bio:
Sonia Chiasson is the Canada Research Chair in User Centric Cybersecurity and an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. 
Dr. Chiasson has been conducting research in the field of usable security for 12 years. Her research interests relate to the human aspects of computer security and privacy with the goal of making security mechanisms easier and safer for people to use.  Dr. Chiasson’s research includes user authentication, understanding users’ security behaviour, improving user mental models of security, phishing, usable security and privacy for children, and incorporating security into the software development lifecycle. 

She is the Deputy Scientific Director of SERENE-RISC, a national network for knowledge mobilization of evidence-based cybersecurity research and best practices. SERENE-RISC brings together 41 academics from 24 post-secondary institutions, along with 32 industry, not-for-profit, and government partners.  Dr. Chiasson has also played key roles in international program committees, including as the Technical Program Co-Chair for the USENIX Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS) 2017 & 2018. Earlier in her career, Dr. Chiasson was a Co-Principal Investigator in NSERC ISSNet's strategic network on computer security and led its project on Human Behaviour and Computer Security.