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Exploring user perceptions of authentication scheme security

Nosseir, A. and Terzis, Sortirios (2013) Exploring user perceptions of authentication scheme security. In: Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, 2013-07-24 - 2013-07-26, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

Despite researchers' efforts authentication remains a challenge, as demonstrated by the prevalent use of passwords in spite of their usability and security problems. Although alternatives have been suggested addressing these problems, they have failed to gain wide acceptance. It is now recognized that a more comprehensive investigation of authentication schemes is necessary to address the challenge. Research has shown that end-user perceptions and attitudes play a major role in the acceptance of new technologies. However, they have received limited attention in the context of authentication. Studies suggest that authentication schemes are distinct enough to require consideration of a different set of factors, like the perception of their security. They have also shown that the relationship between perceived security and acceptance is not linear, i.e. up to a certain level of security increases the acceptability of a scheme, but beyond that higher levels of security undermine it. As a higher level of security typically requires increased user effort, it would seem that a scheme that is perceived too easy to use may not be acceptable by users. From the above, it is clear that studying the perception of their security is an important aspect of a comprehensive investigation of authentication schemes. In this context, we conducted a first study of how users perceive the security of five authentication schemes.