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2011 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy Using Fingerprint Authentication to Reduce System Security: An Empirical Study

By Hugh Wimberly and Lorie M. Liebrock


Abstract—Choosing the security architecture and policies for a system is a demanding task that must be informed by an understanding of user behavior. We investigate the hypothesis that adding visible security features to a system increases user confidence in the security of a system and thereby causes users to reduce how much effort they spend in other security areas. In our study, 96 volunteers each created a pair of accounts, one secured only by a password and one secured by both a password and a fingerprint reader. Our results strongly support our hypothesis—on average. When using the fingerprint reader, users created passwords that would take one three-thousandth as long to break, thereby potentially negating the advantage twofactor authentication could have offered. Index Terms—user study, security policy, risk compensation, two-factor authentication I

Year: 2013
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