Usable Security

Usable Security

Institution: University of Maryland, College Park (Coursera)

Date: Sep 15, 2014 - Oct 25, 2014

Bio: "Usable Security" is part of a four course Specialization Certificate in Cybersecurity. The course is about the designing and evaluating of usability for secure systems, with a user focused perspective. The main takeaway being, System security should be presented as closely as possible to the users natural workflow and mental models; so as not to conflict with the users main task, or compromise security from improper use of the secure features.

Contrary to the courses main page description, there are no 'hands on' components to this course; No assignments or programming projects of any kind. It is a primarily an informative course, delivered through lectures and basic 'did you watch the video' quizzes. The practical content is generic enough that it simply relates general design principals, while the analyzed examples seem overly specific.

This first iteration of the course seems to be in a fairly rough state. This is most apparent with the graded discussions portion of the course which was never fully implemented. Hopefully this changes in later iterations, through polishing, adding a sharper technical focus, and finding a way to incorporate practical programming assessments and design task.

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