NDSS Workshop on Usable Security 2015

Co-located with Network and Distributed System Security (NDSS) Symposium 2015

Workshop date: February 8, 2015

The USEC Workshop Call for Papers is now closed.  Agenda details will be updated in the coming months

Program Committee Chair:

Jens Grossklags, The Pennsylvania State University


Many aspects of information security combine technical and human factors. If a highly secure system is unusable, users will try to circumvent the system or move entirely to less secure but more usable systems. Problems with usability are a major contributor to many high-profile security failures today.

However, usable security is not well-aligned with traditional usability for three reasons. First, security is rarely the desired goal of the individual. In fact, security is usually orthogonal and often in opposition to the actual goal. Second, security information is about risk and threats. Such communication is most often unwelcome. Increasing unwelcome interaction is not a goal of usable design. Third, since individuals must trust their machines to implement their desired tasks, risk communication itself may undermine the value of the networked interaction. For the individual, discrete technical problems are all understood under the rubric of online security (e.g., privacy from third parties use of personally identifiable information, malware). A broader conception of both security and usability is therefore needed for usable security.

The Workshop on Usable Security invites submissions on all aspects of human factors and usability in the context of security and privacy. USEC 2015 aims to bring together researchers already engaged in this interdisciplinary effort with other computer science researchers in areas such as visualization, artificial intelligence and theoretical computer science as well as researchers from other domains such as economics or psychology.

We particularly encourage collaborative research from authors in multiple fields. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Evaluation of usability issues of existing security and privacy models or technology
  • Design and evaluation of new security and privacy models or technology
  • Impact of organizational policy or procurement decisions
  • Lessons learned from designing, deploying, managing or evaluating security and privacy technologies
  • Foundations of usable security and privacy
  • Methodology for usable security and privacy research
  • Ethical, psychological, sociological and economic aspects of security and privacy technologies

We further encourage submissions that contribute to the research community’s knowledge base:

  • Reports of replicating previously published studies and experiments
  • Reports of failed usable security studies or experiments, with the focus on the lessons learned from such experience.

It is the aim of USEC to contribute to an increase of the scientific quality of usable security and privacy research. To this end, we encourage the use of replication studies to validate research findings. This important and often very insightful branch of research is sorely underrepresented in usable security and privacy research to date. Papers in these categories should be clearly marked as such and will not be judged against regular submissions on novelty. Rather, they will be judged based on scientific quality and value to the community.

Important Dates (Extended Deadline)

Paper Title and Abstract due: November 25, 2014

Paper Submission deadline: December 2, 11:59pm PST, 2014

Notification: December 23, 2014

Camera ready: January 15, 2015

Workshop: February 8, 2015


The 2015 Network and Distributed System Security (NDSS) Symposium will be held on February. The venue will be the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa in San Diego, California.

Submission Instructions

Papers should be written in English. Full papers must be no more than 10 pages total (including references and appendices). Papers must be formatted for US letter size (not A4) paper in a two-column layout, with columns no more than 9.25 inch high and 3.5 inch wide. The text must be in Times font, 10-point or larger, with 11-point or larger line spacing. Authors are encouraged to use the IEEE conference proceedings templates.

We also invite short papers of up to 6 pages covering work in progress, short communications, as well as novel or provocative ideas. Short papers will be selected based on their potential to spark interesting discussions during the workshop.

Papers that contribute to the research community’s knowledge base such as studies replicating previous results can be submitted as full or short papers.

Submissions do not have to be anonymized for review. Please clearly refer to your own related work.

The proceedings will be published by the Internet Society.

Submission Site


Program Committee Chair

Jens Grossklags, The Pennsylvania State University

Program Committee

Rebecca Balebako, Carnegie Mellon University

Zinaida Benenson, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Sonia Chiasson, Carleton University

Emiliano DeCristofaro, University College London

Alexander de Luca, Universität München

Tamara Denning, University of Utah

Alain Forget, Carnegie Mellon University

Julien Freudiger, PARC

Vaibhav Garg, VISA

Cormac Herley, Microsoft Research

Mike Just, Glasgow Caledonian University

Bart Knijnenburg, University of California, Irvine

Janne Lindqvist, Rutgers University

Heather Lipford, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Debin Liu, Paypal

Xinru Page, University of California, Irvine

Adrienne Porter Felt, Google

Sören Preibusch

Franziska Roesner, University of Washington

Pamela Wisniewski, The Pennsylvania State University

Kami Vaniea, Indiana University

Melanie Volkamer, Technische Universität Darmstadt