news
December 5, 2008

Usable Security Systems Strengthens Password Defenses

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By Mary Duan

Austin Business Journal, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal

For years, Rachna Dhamija has been fascinated with authentication. She has researched why phishing attacks for passwords and information can be successful, and what causes a system’s security to fail.

Now, she’s taken the subject of her Ph.D. thesis at Berkeley and post-doctoral work at Harvard and turned it into a company that may solve the problem of how and why system security fails.

Here’s a hint: It’s generally not the system–it’s the user.

“We design these systems and assume users will know how to configure things and have perfect memories, and of course nobody has a perfect memory” when it comes to remembering passwords, Dhamija said.

Her company, Usable Security Systems, targets the end user of a system, someone who wants to manage passwords with ease.

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