The University of Arizona

Events & News


DateTuesday, March 4, 2014
Time11:00 am
Concludes12:00 pm
LocationGould-Simpson 906
DetailsPlease join us for coffee and light refreshments at 10:45am in the 9th Floor Atrium.

Faculty Host: David Lowenthal
SpeakerTamara Denning
TitlePhD Candidate
AffiliationUniversity of Washington

Human-Centered Computer Security: Beyond the Desktop

Modern technologies are increasingly capable, interconnected, and used
in diverse aspects of our lives. Securing these devices is critical:
attackers can leverage their properties to perform attacks with novel
or amplified harms. It is critical to approach securing these devices
from a human perspective in addition to a technical perspective in
order to maximize the effectiveness and minimize the repercussions of
deployed security systems. I outline a human-centered approach to
designing security for these new classes of technologies and ground
each step with an example study. First, I use my study on household
robots to demonstrate how the properties and usage scenarios of a
technology translate into particular threats to users and bystanders.
Second, I present how researchers can investigate the characteristics
of an application domain in order to inform the design of better
security systems, using my work with implantable medical devices as an
example. Third, I use my in-situ study investigating the impacts of
augmented reality devices on bystander privacy to illustrate how
researchers can obtain data on the risks associated with a technology.
I conclude my talk with a call for the development of more toolkits to
bootstrap the security process, and present one such toolkit: the
Security Cards, a physical deck of brainstorming cards that I
developed to help computer science students, technologists, and
researchers explore the threats that might be posed by a technology


Tamara Denning is a senior PhD student at the University of Washington
working with Tadayoshi Kohno in the Security and Privacy Research Lab.
She received her B.S. in Computer Science from the University of
California, San Diego in 2007. Tamara's interests are in the human
aspects of computer security and privacy, with a focus on emerging
technologies. Past areas of work include security for implantable
medical devices, the security of consumer technologies in the home,
security and privacy issues surrounding augmented reality, and
security toolkits for awareness and education. Tamara's work is
published in both HCI and computer security venues, and has been
covered by new outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, NY Times, and Wired.