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Sept. 11, 2020

MSU researcher inspires widespread change in computer security practices

Rick Wash recognized for making a lasting impact in the tech industry and academia

An MSU researcher has changed the way the tech industry designs computer security into computing systems, motivating end users to make more informed decisions to protect their devices. Associate professor Rick Wash received the SOUPS Impact Award for his paper “Folk Models of Home Computer Security,” after the research was published and put into practice for 10 years.

The SOUPS (Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security) Impact Award is given to a researcher every three years, for a paper that has made a significant impact on both research and practice when it comes to usable security and privacy work. The award was presented to Wash during the annual SOUPS conference, which was held virtually in August.

“Computer security is this thing that none of us want to be doing, but we all have to do,” said Wash. “There’s all these new technologies that are coming in and changing people’s lives. Then there are these unintended side effects. One of the challenges of computers is that we can talk to anyone on the web, but that also means anyone can try to talk to us, and so that presents a challenge.”

With people spending more time on home computers and devices than ever before, his research continues to make a meaningful impact today. It has caught the attention of the tech industry, including companies such as Microsoft and Google.

Read the full story on the Communication Arts and Sciences website.

By: Melissa Priebe

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