What is Socio-Behavioral Components of Cybersecurity?
Through the Socio-Behavioral Components of Cybersecurity major, I planned to explore aspects of human social-behaviors surrounding cybersecurity that affect online security. Initially, I studied the human psychology to understand components that could influence online negligence which results in security breaches. Living in a progressive technological world where all information is saved online, the government and corporations are at risk of cyber breaches. Although these acts of breaches are done online, humans are responsible for these malicious actions and therefore it would be fitting to study the social behaviors of both the user and the perpetrator. By exploring and studying online social behaviors, governments and corporations can always be a step ahead of the perpetrators by removing another limitation on cybersecurity.
How Did I Construct My Own Major?
I explored some questions in the beginning of the construction of the major which mainly probed what company networks could and must do differently to minimize hackings. The question of whether users are ever safe enough, raised the question of the extremities of online security that I was interested in exploring. For this major, I took classes in Psychology, Anthropology,Philosophy, Political Science and Computer Science to gain a holistic and engaging understanding of the effect human behavior has on security assurance. These classes created the pathway to researches and studying methods for ways to combat these breaches as well. Although, normally a Computer Scientist would enter the field of Cybersecurity, I am offering a different approach by studying social behaviors of humans other than constantly programming firewalls. Human behavior is the missing puzzle in the fight against cyber attacks. For that reason, I sectioned my major in three categories for different classes that would fall under computer programming, human behaviors or laws, policies and regulations.
These courses will help me understand the fundamentals in human behavior and how humans interact with their different surroundings depending on their different background circumstances. I will be focusing on behavior that is influenced by malicious or negligent behavior. These six classes would assist in the core design of this major, as psychology is interdisciplinary and can be used to cross reference from other subjects like philosophy or anthropology. Human behavior in these two subjects is studied and analyzed critically and in different scopes from Psychology. It would be ideal to study at different angles to gain perspective.
lAWS, POLICIES & REGULATIONS
Having an understanding of the Laws, Policies and Ethics would be greatly beneficial. Within Cybersecurity, there are policies that are influenced by laws and vice versa which may not necessarily be ethical or to the advantage of online users.
My Senior Capstone focused on the ways corporations can design a workplace that makes it easier for their employees to practice secure practices. This project was a build off all researches I conducted in the Philosophy and Psychology department.
Why Socio-Behavioral Components?
My research into this field in the past three years revealed that a lot of cooperation breaches happen through many possible ways including employee negligence from malicious intent or from innocent mistakes. Although, these companies may think they compensate their employees well in terms of pay and trainings in return for compliance and loyalty, they find themselves vulnerable to these cyber attacks. Therefore, by understanding the psychology behind human behavior and the human social traits, I will be able to use that information to understand the reason why individuals, corporations and governments may be at risk online. As a result, I’ll be able to offer future directions that individuals, corporations and governments can take to mitigate online security risks.
“One of the key challenges in information security management is to understand how organizational, individual, and technical factors together affect the outcomes of information security in an organization. Although computer hackers and criminals are often headlined in the mainstream media, evidence suggests that more information security incidents occur as a result of internal employee actions …In fact, human agents inside an organization could be more dangerous than those outside the organization due to their intimate knowledge of the organizational information systems and access to data in the course of their routine work activities”
Hu, Dinev, Hart, Cooke. (2012)
“In the Behavioral InfoSec academic literature and industry surveys of IT managers, it is well acknowledged that people within organizations are still the weakest link in the defense against internal and external threats to organizational digital assets—in spite of the significant advances in protective technologies and organizational procedures and policies related to information security”
Crossler, Johnston, Lowry, Hu, Warkentin, Baskerville. (2013)
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My Major Consultants
The team that helped in the creation of my individual major.
Dr. Chuck Huff
Dr. Mark Rosenbaum
Research Consultant I
Research Consultant II