When it Comes to Security Design, Stop Trying to Fix the User
Bruce Schneier, cybersecurity expert and fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard:
The problem isn’t the users: it’s that we’ve designed our computer systems’ security so badly that we demand the user do all of these counterintuitive things. Why can’t users choose easy-to-remember passwords? Why can’t they click on links in emails with wild abandon? Why can’t they plug a USB stick into a computer without facing a myriad of viruses? Why are we trying to fix the user instead of solving the underlying security problem? […]
We must stop trying to fix the user to achieve security. We’ll never get there, and research toward those goals just obscures the real problems. Usable security does not mean “getting people to do what we want.” It means creating security that works, given (or despite) what people do.
Digital security is already a paramount issue in our current world; yet, in practice, “usable security” is often neither. It’s going to take a large amount of educating and designing before users can stay safe despite doing “what people do” online.
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