The case for usable mobile security

Event type: 
Guest lecture
Event time: 
30.08.2012 - 10:15 - 11:00
Lecturer : 
Dr. Asokan
Exactum B222


Over the last decade, the security research community has come to
recognize the importance of simultaneously achieving usability and
security goals when designing new protocols, applications and systems
for ordinary non-specialist users in the mass market.  Often the
primary motivation (from the perspective of designers) for usable
security arises when lack thereof will lead to a definite cost.  The
source of such costs can be surprising.

I will use the problem of secure device pairing as a case study to
understand how the research and standardization communities attempted
to address a problem where usability and security were both
important. This effort resulted in the development of several novel
key agreement protocols.  I will discuss some of these protocols in
detail.  I will then describe a number of current problems in mobile
devices that need usable and secure solutions.

On the positive side, mobile devices also offer opportunities for
security researchers that traditional PCs do not.  I will briefly
outline some exploratory ideas that my colleagues and I have been
investigating on this front


Dr. N. Asokan is a Distinguished Researcher at Nokia Research Center.  He
also served as a part-time professor at TKK during 2006-2007.  He has been
conducting research in building secure systems for over fifteen years,
first at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory and then at Nokia Research
Center. His primary research interest has been in applying
cryptographic techniques to design secure protocols for distributed
systems. Recently, he has also been investigating the use of Trusted
Computing technologies for securing endnodes, and ways to make secure
systems usable.

Asokan received his doctorate in Computer Science from the University
of Waterloo.  For more information about Asokan's work see his website at

22.08.2012 - 16:53 Tiina Niklander
22.08.2012 - 16:53 Tiina Niklander