More Than Skin Deep: Measuring Effects of the Underlying Model on Access-Control System Usability

In access-control systems, policy rules conflict when they prescribe different decisions (ALLOW or DENY) for the same access. The authors present the results of a user study that demonstrates the significant impact of conflict-resolution method on policy-authoring usability. In the study of 54 participants, varying the conflict-resolution method yielded statistically significant differences in accuracy in five of the six tasks the authors tested, including differences in accuracy rates of up to 78%. The results suggest that a conflict-resolution method favoring rules of smaller scope over rules of larger scope is more usable than the Microsoft Windows operating system's method of favoring deny rules over allow rules.

Provided by: Association for Computing Machinery Topic: Networking Date Added: May 2011 Format: PDF

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