Google Faculty Research Award 2016

We received our second Google Faculty Research Award for our proposal entitled, “Improving Adherence to Security Messages through Intelligent Timing: A Neurosecurity Study.” We were awarded $34,200, and Elisabeth Morant will serve as our Google liaison.

Our previous Google Faculty Research Award proposed to study habituation to security warnings.

From the Abstract:

System-generated notifications are ubiquitous in personal computing. Many of these interruptions are security messages that prompt the user to perform a security action, but these interruptions come at a high cost. Neuroscience has shown that the brain cannot perform even simple tasks simultaneously without significant performance loss, the result of a cognitive limitation known as dual-task interference (DTI). While some security messages require immediate attention, others can be timed to display when a user is best equipped to respond, i.e., when DTI is low. The goal of this proposal is to develop a system to predict low-DTI times using input-device tracking and mobile-device indicators of the user to display security messages at times when users’ adherence will be maximized.