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Transforming the 'weakest link' - a human/computer interaction approach to usable and effective security

Sasse, MA; Brostoff, S; Weirich, D; (2001) Transforming the 'weakest link' - a human/computer interaction approach to usable and effective security. BT Technology Journal , 19 (3) 122 - 131. 10.1023/A:1011902718709. Green open access

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Abstract

The security research community has recently recognised that user behaviour plays a part in many security failures, and it has become common to refer to users as the 'weakest link in the security chain'. We argue that simply blaming users will not lead to more effective security systems. Security designers must identify the causes of undesirable user behaviour, and address these to design effective security systems. We present examples of how undesirable user behaviour with passwords can be caused by failure to recognise the characteristics of human memory, unattainable or conflicting task demands, and lack of support, training and motivation. We conclude that existing human/computer interaction knowledge and techniques can be used to prevent or address these problems, and outline a vision of a holistic design approach for usable and effective security.

Type: Article
Title: Transforming the 'weakest link' - a human/computer interaction approach to usable and effective security
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1023/A:1011902718709
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1011902718709
Language: English
Additional information: © 2001 Springer The final publication is available at link.springer.com
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/144215
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