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Access control is a core component of any information-security strategy. Researchers
have spent tremendous energy over the past forty years defining abstract access-control
models and proving various properties about them. However, surprisingly
little attention has been paid to how well these models work in real socio-technical
systems (i.e., real human organizations). This dissertation describes the results of
two qualitative studies (involving 52 participants from four companies, drawn from
the financial, software, and healthcare sectors) and observes that the current practice
of access control is dysfunctional at best. It diagnoses the broken assumptions that
are at the heart of this dysfunction, and offers a new definition of the access-control
problem that is grounded in the requirements and limitations of the real world.
Ph.D Dissertation. Advisor: Sean Smith
Bibliographic citation for this report: [plain text] [BIB] [BibTeX] [Refer]
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Sara Sinclair, "Access Control In and For the Real World." Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report TR2013-745, November 2013.
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