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Kent State University

1. Albalawi, Tahani F. Quantifying the Effect of Cognitive Biases on Security Decision-Making.

Degree: PhD, College of Arts and Sciences / Department of Computer Science, 2018, Kent State University

Recently, characteristics of human behavior have created a new important source for attackers. The attackers’ attention shifted from the direct machine attacks that require breaking the underlying cryptography to target human vulnerability to get access to the information. Despite problems that human vulnerability has created, the human role has received too little attention in security domain. The role of humans is often neglected in favor of technical solutions in the cyber security equation. This may be due to a lack of understanding of human vulnerability. The technical side is clearly an essential part of cyber security, but people are also strongly involved in the information security. The technical side is more identifiable but human behavior is still very important. Fortunately, Social Engineering Security is changing the way we look at computer security. The main pillar of this field is how human psychological factors can influence humans to make bad or irrational decisions. People’s irrational judgments (human error) are often caused by cognitive biases (CB) which are tendencies to think irrationally in certain types of situations. The awareness of CB goes back to the early 1970s when the psychologists Kahneman and Tversky showed there might be a gap between how humans should make a decision and how they actually make a decision. CB is often connected with two aspects first, some limitation in processing knowledge that caused by the Cognitive load (CL), which is related to human neutrality and the second aspect, is the usability of the system. Usability of a system is one of the causes of people's biases in decisions. On the other hand people’s security decisions in the domain of cyber security are also closely tied to usability. The mismatch between security and usability goals contributes to making inappropriate security-related decisions. Clearly, we can see that the security decision-making is a result of three overlapping factors: security, usability and CB. Studies have been focused on evaluating the security polices and techniques. The focus of these evaluations is on the intentional threats that result from a malicious intent of access. The unintentional threat that results from human error has not received the necessary attention. Thus, this study focuses on the security threats that relate to human error with the non-malicious and legal intent. This dissertation has several contributions to current research in the security field: First, it pays attention to the security threats that relate to human error and result from non-malicious legal intent. It addresses the human error that leads to the unintentional threat by exploring human cognitive processes in the context of cyber security. Since the human error is resulting from three overlapping factors, security, usability and CB, this research also studies the relation between these factors. It explores the links between security decision-making and usability, as well as illustrating the cognitive processing and reasoning behind the end-user… Advisors/Committee Members: Melton, Austin (Committee Co-Chair), Ghazinour , Kambiz (Committee Co-Chair).

Subjects/Keywords: Computer Science; Security, HCI, Human error, Mental model, Cognitive bias

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Albalawi, T. F. (2018). Quantifying the Effect of Cognitive Biases on Security Decision-Making. (Doctoral Dissertation). Kent State University. Retrieved from http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=kent1532529752353789

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Albalawi, Tahani F. “Quantifying the Effect of Cognitive Biases on Security Decision-Making.” 2018. Doctoral Dissertation, Kent State University. Accessed October 21, 2018. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=kent1532529752353789.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Albalawi, Tahani F. “Quantifying the Effect of Cognitive Biases on Security Decision-Making.” 2018. Web. 21 Oct 2018.

Vancouver:

Albalawi TF. Quantifying the Effect of Cognitive Biases on Security Decision-Making. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Kent State University; 2018. [cited 2018 Oct 21]. Available from: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=kent1532529752353789.

Council of Science Editors:

Albalawi TF. Quantifying the Effect of Cognitive Biases on Security Decision-Making. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Kent State University; 2018. Available from: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=kent1532529752353789

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