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13th USENIX Security Symposium — Abstract

Pp. 207–222 of the Proceedings

Network-in-a-Box: How to Set Up a Secure Wireless Network in Under a Minute

Dirk Balfanz, Glenn Durfee, Rebecca E. Grinter, Diana K. Smetters, and Paul Stewart, PARC


Combining effective security and usability is often considered impossible. For example, deploying effective security for wireless networks is a difficult task, even for skilled systems administrators - a fact that is impeding the deployment of many mobile systems.

In this paper we describe a system that lets typical users easily build a highly secure wireless network. Our main contribution is to show how gesture-based user interfaces can be applied to provide a complete solution for securing wireless networks. This allows users to intuitively manage the network security of their mobile devices, even those with limited user interfaces. We demonstrate through user studies that our secure implementation is considerably easier to use than typical commercially available options, even those that provide lower security. Our gesture-based approach is quite general, and can be used to design a wide variety of systems that are simultaneously secure and easy to administer.

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