Our solution to this problem is Zero-Interaction Authentication, or ZIA. In ZIA, a user wears a small authentication token that communicates with a laptop over a short-range, wireless link. Whenever the laptop needs decryption authority, it acquires it from the token; authority is retained only as long as necessary. With careful key management, ZIA imposes an overhead of only 9.3% for representative workloads.
The largest file cache on our hardware can be re-encrypted within five seconds of the user's departure, and restored in just over six seconds after detecting the user's return. This secures the machine before an attacker can gain physical access, but recovers full performance before a returning user resumes work.
Download the paper in PDF format here.
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