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Evaluating Usability, Security, and Trustworthiness of Ad-hoc Collaborative Environments

31st May 2012 to 29th May 2013

Ensuring confidence in collaborative working is an important concern; Government work is increasingly collaborative in nature and needs to be enabled by advances in ICT supporting the provision of collaborative working environments. Part of this challenge involves managing rapidly changing situations, where prospective collaborators join and existing collaborators leave a coalition, without compromising security requirements.

The aim of the EUSTACE project is to develop a decision-making framework and tool support for rapidly evaluating the security implications of ad-hoc collaborative work. We propose a framework that reuses existing models in Security, HCI, and Computer Science and makes these amenable to automated analysis and tool support.

The framework describes how formal specifications of implied behaviour are generated from existing usability and system models (such as personas and use cases) and combined with formal specifications of security requirements (derived from existing policies and requirements). A model checker is then used to analyse these specifications for failures and contradictions. These are then visualised in a collaborative work model that captures elements of the system, its users and their activities. The failures and contradictions are then highlighted in this model, providing the means of rapidly evaluating whether a proposed collaboration is likely to create security problems.

Selected Publications

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Principal Investigator


Philip Armstrong
Shamal Faily
David Power

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