USP | Usable Security & Privacy

The Usable Security & Privacy (USP) department deals with the human factor in IT security. Equipped with an extensive laboratory and wide-ranging interdisciplinary expertise, the USP department evaluates the usability of security technologies and methods for privacy protection. The research is directed both at improving existing systems and developing new concepts. Special emphasis is placed on researching problems developers and administrators face in developing and operating security solutions, and on creating new, more usable concepts.

Research on usable IT security and privacy mechanisms for end users

The areas covered by the Usable Security & Privacy (USP) department in this research field range from mobile to cloud computing and deal with authentication, authorization, encryption, risk perception, knowledge transfer and human-machine interaction.


Research on usable IT security mechanisms for developers and administrators

This research field of the USP department focuses on systems for IT experts and deals primarily with the topics of software engineering, network security, cryptography and malware analysis. In this context, programming of SSL on mobile devices and the potential of big data analytics to detect attacks in networks are key current problem sets with a high impact.


The quality of the research carried out by the Usable Security & Privacy (USP) department is documented by publications at prominent conferences, such as IEEE Security & Privacy, USENIX Security, ACM CCS, ACM SIG-CHI and SOUPS. The department's expertise is highly valued not only in the scientific community but also in industry.


Official bodies/networks

  • IEEE EuroS&P'18 PC Co-Chair
  • IEEE EuroS&P'17 PC Co-Chair
  • SOUPS'17 PC Co-Chair
  • SOUPS'16 PC Co-Chair
  • WWW’15 Area PC Chair Security and Privacy
  • NDSS’15 Workshop Chair
  • Associate Editor ACM Transaction on the Web
  • USEC’14 Workshop Co-Chair
  • NDSS Organising Committee
  • USENIX SOUPS Steering Committee
  • USEC Steering Committee



  • University of Bonn