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Feb
12
Tue
CS Seminar: Elissa Redmiles, University of Maryland – “Security for All: Modeling Structural Inequities to Design More Secure Systems”
Feb 12 @ 10:45 am – 11:45 am

Location

Hackerman Hall B-17

Abstract

Users often fall for phishing emails, reuse simple passwords, and fail to effectively utilize “provably” secure systems. These behaviors expose users to significant harm and frustrate industry practitioners and security researchers alike. As consequences of security breaches become ever more grave, it is important to study why humans behave seemingly irrationally. In this talk, I will illustrate how modeling the effects of structural inequities — variance in skill, socioeconomic status, as well as culture and gender identity — can both explain apparent irrationality in users�� security behavior and offer tangible improvements in industry systems. Modeling and mitigating security inequities requires a combination of techniques from economic, data scientific, and social science methodologies to develop new tools for systematically understanding and mitigating insecure behavior.

Through novel experimental methodology, I empirically show strong evidence of bounded rationality in security behavior: Users make mathematically modelable tradeoffs between the protection offered by security behaviors and the costs of practicing those behaviors, which even in a highly usable system may outweigh the benefits, especially for less resourced users. These findings emphasize the need for industry systems that balance structural inequities and accommodate behavioral variance between users rather than one-size-fits-all security solutions. More broadly, my techniques for modeling and accounting for inequities have offered key insights in growing technical areas beyond security, including algorithmic fairness.

Bio

Elissa Redmiles is a Ph.D. Candidate in Computer Science at the University of Maryland and has been a visiting researcher with the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems and the University of Zurich. Elissa’s research interests are broadly in the areas of security and privacy. She uses computational, economic, and social science methods to conduct research on behavioral security. Elissa seeks to understand users’ security and privacy decision-making processes and specifically investigate inequalities that arise in these processes and to mitigate those inequalities through the design of systems that facilitate safety equitably across users. Elissa is the recipient of a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, a National Science Defense and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, and a Facebook Fellowship. Her work has appeared in popular press publications such as Scientific American, Business Insider, Newsweek, and CNET and has been recognized with the John Karat Usable Privacy and Security Student Research Award, a Distinguished Paper Award at USENIX Security 2018, and a University of Maryland Outstanding Graduate Student Award.

Host

Avi Rubin

Feb
14
Thu
CS Seminar: Stevie N.Chancellor – “TBD”
Feb 14 @ 10:45 am – 11:55 am

Location

Hackerman Hall B-17

Feb
15
Fri
HopHacks Spring 2019 @ Hodson Hall, Homewood Campus, Johns Hopkins University
Feb 15 @ 6:30 pm – Feb 17 @ 7:30 pm

Registration is now open for HopHacks Spring 2019 – the 36-hour student-run hackathon which will take place from Friday February 15th through Sunday February 17th. In addition to the awesome prizes, swag and free meals throughout the hackathon, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with recruiters from our sponsors including Bloomberg, MissionData and more!

We can’t wait to see what software and hardware hacks you create, so register now at hophacks.com! All enrolled undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to participate.

Apr
2
Tue
Distinguished Lecturer: Eva Tardos – “TBD”
Apr 2 @ 10:45 am – 11:45 am

Location

Hackerman Hall B-17

Apr
16
Tue
Distinguished Lecturer: Avrim Blum – “TBA”
Apr 16 @ 10:45 am – 11:45 am

Location

Hackerman Hall B-17

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