In this paper; we focus on usability of authentication for nomadic users in a ubiquitous computing environment. We identify requirements for authentication of nomadic users and propose an authentication framework for this class of users. A prototype of the proposed authentication framework has been developed; which supports persistent and multifactor authentication without the active intervention of a user.
We evaluate the usability of the developed mechanism by considering the time required to authenticate when logging in to a workstation and compare this to classic password based authentication. The evaluation shows that the proposed mechanism saves a significant amount of time for the nomadic users; which reduces the incentive to circumvent the authentication mechanism. Thus; the mechanism will both provide users with better job satisfaction and increased organizational efficiency; while at the same time increase the effective level of security of the system.
Keywords: Security; Usability; Ubiquitous Computing; Nomadic Users; Authentication