Bringing humans at the core of cybersecurity: Challenges and future research directions
Authors: Kitty Kioskli, Haralambos Mouratidis, Nineta Polemi
Abstract: The prompt response to successfully adopt good cybersecurity practices from protecting passwords to security incidents’ responding to activating a disaster recovery or a business continuity plan depends upon the level of operators’ ability in problem solving, resilience, readiness, maturity, observation, and perception. New technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) can also be helpful to more effectively forecast or respond to serious incidents, especially to massive attacks. However, the cybersecurity operators need to alter their mindsets, adopt new behavioural patterns, and work attitudes to embrace and interact with AI-assistance during cyber defence activities. in addition, when the operators need to assess or mitigate AI socio-technical risks related to bias, transparency and equality, they will base their decisions for estimating or mitigating these risks on their behavioural, social, cultural, and ethical characteristics. In this paper, we are presenting challenges related to human and psychosocial factors of the cybersecurity operators. We also discuss the motives and drivers that impact the cognitive aspects (e.g., focus on operational tasks, attention, objectivity) of the cyber operations. We further identify how the cybersecurity operators’ personality traits impact the success of the cybersecurity practices and estimations and analyse research challenges, regarding the impact of operators’ profiles on their perceptions and interactions, with AI cyber defending tools and management of AI risks. Finally, we consider the impact these human factors may have on successful cybersecurity operations and practices and provide proposals for interdisciplinary research directions requiring the collaboration of cybersecurity experts, psychologists, and behavioural scientists.
Keywords: cybersecurity, human factors, cognitive factors, behavioural analytics
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