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The great authentication fatigue – and how to overcome it

Sasse, MA; Steves, M; Krol, K; Chisnell, D; (2014) The great authentication fatigue – and how to overcome it. In: Rau, PLP, (ed.) Cross-Cultural Design 6th International Conference, CCD 2014 Held as Part of HCI International 2014 Heraklion, Crete, Greece, June 22-27, 2014: Proceedings. (pp. 228 - 239). Springer International Publishing: Cham, Switzerland. Green open access

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Abstract

We conducted a two-part study to understand the impact of authentication on employees’ behaviour and productivity in a US governmental organisation. We asked 23 participants to keep a diary of all their authentication events within a 24-hour period, and subsequently interviewed them about their experience with authentication. We found that the authentication tasks employees have to perform not only carry significant workload, but that the way in which authentication disrupts primary tasks reduces productivity and creates frustration. Our participants reported a range of coping strategies, including use of tools and re-organising their work to avoid security. Avoidance meant they logged in less frequently, stopped using certain devices and services. They also reported not pursing innovative ideas because of “the battle with security” that would be required. Our case study paints a picture of chronic ‘authentication fatigue’ resulting from current policies and mechanisms, and the negative impact on staff productivity and morale. We propose that organisations need to urgently re-think how they authenticate users in a pervasive technology requirement, and advocate a paradigm shift from explicit to implicit authentication.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: The great authentication fatigue – and how to overcome it
Event: HCI International 2014
Location: Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Dates: 2014-06-22 - 2014-06-27
ISBN-13: 9783319073071
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-07308-8_23
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-07308-8_23
Language: English
Additional information: Final version available from http://link.springer.com
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1434817
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