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CyLab's Dr. Lorrie Cranor Speaks at White House Cybersecurity Summit

posted by Richard Power
February 13, 2015

On January 13th, 2015, President Barack Obama announced his plans for a White House Summer on Cyber Security:

“(S)ince this is a challenge that we can only meet together, I’m announcing that next month we’ll convene a White House summit on cybersecurity and consumer protection. It’s a White House summit where we're not going to do it at the White House; we're going to go to Stanford University. And it’s going to bring everybody together — industry, tech companies, law enforcement, consumer and privacy advocates, law professors who are specialists in the field, as well as students — to make sure that we work through these issues in a public, transparent fashion.”

This White House Summit in Silicon Valley will be held today, Friday 13th, at Standford University.

The program for the Summit includes an address from President Obama, remarks by Apple CEO Tim Cook and Standford University President John Hennessy.

Dr. Lorrie Cranor, Director of CyLab Usable Privacy and Security (CUPS) Lab will be one of four participants in a panel on "Improving Authentication: Moving Beyond the Password," led by NIST Undersecretary Willie May.

She will be talking about CUPS Lab research on usable and secure passwords and the importance of usability considerations and testing.

"Companies often don’t think carefully enough about the usability implications of their password security measures," Dr. Cranor says. "Our research shows that users cope by behaving in insecure ways. Mandating frequent password changes is a good example of a security measure that offers little or no security benefit and encourages users to choose weaker passwords.”

For more on this research visit the CUPS Password and Authentication Research page.

And looking beyond passwords, in her remarks today, Dr. Cranor will also be referencing Biometric Authentication on iPhone and Android: Usability, Perceptions, and Influences on Adoption, a paper co-authored with a team that includes fellow CyLab researcher Marios Savvides.

“Our recent study shows that we still have a ways to go in making smartphone biometric authentication both secure and usable," she explains. "Participants in our study found Android facial recognition to be too sensitive to lighting conditions to be usable, and also complained that the authentication process was awkward because it looked like they were taking a selfie."

This paper will be delivered at the Internet Society's USEC 2015 Workshop.

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