It takes more than technological innovation to develop functional mechanisms for IT security and privacy.
For his work on the role of human in IT security and data protection, Prof Dr Sascha Fahl, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, is honoured with the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize 2018, an annual award by the German Research Foundation. Amounting to 20,000 euros, the prize was presented at an award ceremony on Mai 29, 2018 in Berlin.
In theory, many IT security and privacy mechanisms should ensure a high degree of security. “In practice, however, this is often not the case,” says Sascha Fahl, head of the research group Usable Security and Privacy at the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security. This is because technological innovation is not the only factor affecting IT security and privacy. They must also be easy to handle by the end users. The team headed by Sascha Fahl studies how this goal can be achieved, using IT security approaches in combination with qualitative and quantitative research methods from the fields of social science and psychology.
All actors must be considered
Research into usable security frequently focuses on end users – for example exploring options for rendering alerts more effective. Still, end users constitute only one aspect studied by Fahl’s group. The team takes all key actors into consideration, those including software developers, system administrators, and IT system designers.
General note: In case of using gender-assigning attributes we include all those who consider themselves in this gender regardless of their own biological sex.