Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effect of password management procedures on the entropy of user selected passwords
by Enamait, John D., Ph.D., Indiana State University, 2012, 153; 3507494
Abstract (Summary)

Maintaining the security of information contained within computer systems poses challenges for users and administrators. Attacks on information systems continue to rise. Specifically, attacks that target user authentication are increasingly popular. These attacks are based on the common perception that traditional alphanumeric passwords are weak and susceptible to attack. As a result of attacks targeting alphanumeric passwords, different authentication methods have been proposed. Nonetheless, traditional alphanumeric-based passwords remain the most common form of user authentication and are expected to remain so for the foreseeable future.

This study provided empirical data to determine if the entropy of user-selected passwords was affected by the use of password management software. This research also provided data to determine if efforts to increase user-awareness of password strength affected the selection of passwords. The research results revealed that the use of a password management application resulted in an increase in average password entropy, but at a level that was not significant. The research results also indicated that the use of a password management application when coupled with electronic secondary information awareness efforts did result in a significant increase in average password entropy. The research results further illustrated that the use of a password management application when coupled with verbal secondary information awareness efforts also resulted in a significant increase in average password entropy. Finally, this investigation determined that the use of password management software together with electronic and verbal secondary information user-awareness efforts resulted in an increase in password entropy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Beach, David, Lin, Yuetong
Commitee: Herman, Terry L., Ollison, Troy, Ulmer, Jeff
School: Indiana State University
Department: Technology Management
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-B 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Information Technology, Information science, Computer science
Keywords: Digital communication, Entropy, Information security, Password management, Technology management, User-selected passwords
Publication Number: 3507494
ISBN: 9781267327031