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Seminar:  Saving SSL – Usable Security for Administrators and Developers

Date:March 16, 2015 
Talk Title:Saving SSL – Usable Security for Administrators and Developers
Speaker:Matthew Smith, Professor, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Germany
Time & Location:12:00pm - 1:00pm
Panther Hollow Room, CIC Building, Pittsburgh


Many aspects of information security combine technical and human factors. If a highly secure system is unusable, users will try to circumvent the system or migrate entirely to less secure but more usable systems. Problems with usability are a major contributor to many recent high-profile security failures. The research domain of usable security & privacy addresses these issues. However, until now the main focus of researchers in this field have been end users. After giving a brief introduction into the field, the presenter will argue that usability issues for administrators and developers also need to be taken into account. The talk will use SSL as an example to illustrate usable security and privacy issues for all actors involved in the SSL ecosystem.  

Speaker Bio

Matthew Smith is a Professor for Usable Security and Privacy at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Germany. He completed his studies of Computer Science & Electrical Engineering at the University of Siegen, Germany, with distinction. Subsequently he was a full time researcher at the Philipps Universität Marburg, Germany, where he completed his PhD in 2008, also with distinction. In 2009, he was awarded the PhD Prize for outstanding innovation by the Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Forschungstransfers (GFFT e.V.). His research is focused on human factors of security and privacy mechanisms with a wide range of application areas, including SSL and network security, authentication, mobile and app security and, most recently, usable security for developers.