Archive December 2015

IDC seminar (7 Dec) Designing for security: Users are not the weakest link

(please note this is not the usual seminar time: 2pm on Monday in C204)

Dr. Sonia Chiasson (Carleton University)


There is a prevailing belief that users are the weakest link in the security chain. In this talk, I will discuss how this perspective is inherently counterproductive to achieving increased cyber security and explore alternatives with a higher chance of improving security.  Our research group explores how systems can be designed to better support secure behaviour and how user behaviour impacts security.  We investigate how underlying system and interaction design choices can lead to more secure systems by decreasing chances of misuse, errors, or exploitation of security mechanisms. I will present research examples from our recent work, including anti-phishing and privacy-preserving apps.


Sonia Chiasson is the Canada Research Chair in Human Oriented Computer Security and a faculty member in the School of Computer Science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.  She is Deputy Scientific Director of SERENE-RISC, a Canadian Networks of Centers of Excellence for Knowledge Mobilization created to help protect Canadian individuals and organizations from online security and privacy threats. Her main research interests are in usable security and privacy: the intersection between human-computer interaction and computer security and privacy. She leads Carleton’s Human Oriented Research in Usable Security (CHORUS) research group.