Security needs Trust needs Security

Presenter: Prof. Dr. Max Mühlhäuser, Technical University of Darmstadt
Date: 17 May 2024


The close relationship between trust and (IT/cyber) security has often been addressed in debates and publications, but remains underrepresented in mainstream research. There have been attempts to harmonize both areas and consider them as two sides of the same medal—as soft security and hard security or conversely as soft trust and hard trust, but these terminology focused discussions did not find common acceptance either. In this talk, we will briefly review the arguments about why trust and security are intimately connected, and outline the broader landscape of corresponding approaches. We will then look at computational trust as a particular family of trust-related approaches. Next, we will discuss how trust and security can act in service of each other. Under the heading "Security needs trust", we will look at how the trust aspects of IT security scenarios can be assessed and operationalized using computational trust; under the heading "Trust needs security", we will outline some approaches that can help to protect the assessment of computational trust against various threats. A brief outlook on open challenges will conclude the presentation.


Max Mühlhäuser is a full professor at the Technical University of Darmstadt and head of Telecooperation Lab. He holds key positions in several large collaborative research centers and is leading the Doctoral School on Privacy and Trust for Mobile Users. He and his lab members conduct research on the future Internet, Human Computer Interaction, Intelligent Systems, and PST (Privacy, Security & Trust). Max founded and managed industrial research centers, and worked as either professor or visiting professor at universities in Germany, the US, Canada, Australia, France, and Austria. He is a member of acatech, the German Academy of the Technical Sciences, ACM Distinguished Member, and IEEE Fellow. He published over 700 peer-reviewed articles and was and is active in numerous conference program committees, as organizer of several annual conferences, and as a member of editorial boards or guest editor for journals such as ACM IMWUT, ACM ToIT, Pervasive Computing, ACM Multimedia, and Pervasive and Mobile Computing.