Emerging Cyber Threats and Cognitive Vulnerabilities identifies the critical role human behaviour plays in cyber security, and provides insights into how human decision making can help address rising volumes of cyberthreats. The book examines the role of psychology in cybersecurity by addressing each actor involved in the process: hackers, targets, cybersecurity practitioners, and the wider social context in which these groups operate. It applies psychological factors such as motivations, group processes, and decision-making heuristics that may lead individuals to underestimate risk. The goal of this understanding is to more quickly identify threat, and create early education and prevention strategies.
Emerging Cyber Threats and Cognitive Vulnerabilities covers a variety of topics and addresses different challenges in response to changes in the ways in to study various areas of decision-making, behaviour, artificial intelligence, and human interaction in relation to cybersecurity.
- Explains psychological factors inherent in machine learning and artificial intelligence
- Discusses the social psychology of online radicalism and terrorist recruitment
- Examines the motivation and decision-making of hackers and "hactivists"
- Investigates the use of personality psychology to extract secure information from individuals
Vladlena Benson is Professor of Information Systems at the Aston Business School. She is a specialist in technology governance, risk and compliance (GRC) and a Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)-certified Cyber Security Risk Management Frameworks practitioner. She is currently working with UK businesses on privacy and cyber security initiatives, such as the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and privacy compliance. Prof Benson's research areas cover: information privacy; cyber victimisation; gender and culture differences in online behaviour; digital rights and the cyber vulnerability of young people. Her work also relates to religious orientation, digital behaviour and privacy on social media. She is a strong advocate for increasing diversity in the cyber security work force, and actively endeavours to bring more female talent into the digital economy. As part of her research, she currently runs a number of projects to help target the digital skills crisis - developing tools for opening up cyberspace entrepreneurship opportunities from an early age. As a result of her work in this area, Prof Benson was recognised at the Women in IT Awards 2017 for helping the development of career opportunities for women in cyber security.
John McAlaney is a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Scientist and Associate Professor of Psychology at Bournemouth University. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Stirling, his MSc at the University of Strathclyde and then his PhD at the University of West of Scotland in 2007. Dr. McAlaney's PhD was on the topic of social psychology and substance use, looking particularly at misperceptions of peer norms. Following this he worked on an AERC funded post-doc position at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine before moving onto a lecturing post at the University of Bradford in 2008. He joined the Department of Psychology at Bournemouth University in 2014. Since joining Bournemouth he has collaborated extensively with colleagues in the Department of Computing and Informatics to explore psychological factors of cyber security, including participation in hacking and hacktivism, group dynamics in cyber security actors and decision making processes in relation to phishing emails and other mediums. As part of this work he collaborates extensively with government, military and commercial organisations. In 2018 he led the authorship of the British Psychological Society's briefing paper on the role of psychology in informing cybersecurity practices.