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More Than Just Good Passwords? A Study on Usability and Security Perceptions of Risk-based Authentication

  • Risk-based Authentication (RBA) is an adaptive security measure to strengthen password-based authentication. RBA monitors additional features during login, and when observed feature values differ significantly from previously seen ones, users have to provide additional authentication factors such as a verification code. RBA has the potential to offer more usable authentication, but the usability and the security perceptions of RBA are not studied well. We present the results of a between-group lab study (n=65) to evaluate usability and security perceptions of two RBA variants, one 2FA variant, and password-only authentication. Our study shows with significant results that RBA is considered to be more usable than the studied 2FA variants, while it is perceived as more secure than password-only authentication in general and comparably secure to 2FA in a variety of application types. We also observed RBA usability problems and provide recommendations for mitigation. Our contribution provides a first deeper understanding of the users' perception of RBA and helps to improve RBA implementations for a broader user acceptance.

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Document Type:Conference Object
Author:Stephan WieflingORCiD, Markus Dürmuth, Luigi Lo Iacono
Parent Title (English):36th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC '20). December 07-11, 2020
ArXiv Id:http://arxiv.org/abs/2010.00339
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Date of first publication:2020/10/01
Submission status:accepted
Tag:Authentication; Password; Risk-based Authentication; Two-factor Authentication; Usable Security
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Informatik
Projects:URIA Usability of Risk-based Implicit Authentication
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):0 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke / 00 Informatik, Wissen, Systeme / 004 Datenverarbeitung; Informatik
Entry in this database:2020/10/06
Licence (Multiple languages):License LogoIn Copyright (Urheberrechtsschutz)