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Research Library

The world’s first globally accessible archive of research into the human aspect of cybersecurity and behavioral science as applied to cybersecurity awareness and online behavioral change.

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Human Factors Knowledge Area

over the past 20 years, there has been a growing body of research into the underlying causes of security failures and the role of human factors. The insight that has emerged is that security measures are not adopted because humans are treated as components whose behaviour can be specified through security policies, and controlled through...

Human systems integration approach to cyber security

The NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO) Human Factors and Medicine (HFM) Panel 259 Research Task Group (RTG), titled Human Systems Integration Approach to Cyber Security, was established to promote cooperative human-centred research activities in a NATO framework on the complex phenomenon of cyber security as a socio-technical system. The idea was to implement a...

2022 Cost of insider threats global report

The first Cost of Insider Threats: Global study was conducted in 2016 and focused exclusively on companies in North America. Since then, the research has expanded to include organizations in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific with a global headcount of 500 to more than 75,000. In this year’s study, we interviewed 1,004 IT and...

Nudging online security behaviour with warning messages

Researchers tested the effectiveness of 9 different ways of warning users about cyber security threats. Making users aware of the steps they could take to minimise risk was effective in triggering more secure behaviour. Gain-framed messages, loss-framed messages and a message from a male anthropomorphic character triggered more secure behaviours. Interestingly, although the above interventions...

EAST: Four simple ways to apply behavioural insights

Following extensive engagement with policy makers through lectures, seminars, workshops, and discussions, the UK government's Behavioral Insights Team has distilled years of insights into a simplified framework designed to promote behavioral change. According to their approach, to facilitate the adoption of a new behavior, it should align with the following principles, conveniently summarized as "EAST":...

Using behavioural insights to improve the public’s use of cyber security best practices

Behavioural change theory suggests influencers of behavioural change include environmental factors (such as technological design), social influencers (such as peers or family) and personal influencers (such as what we know and believe). Using the MINDSPACE framework helps design behaviour change interventions built on sound theories, maximising the chances of behaviour change. Interestingly, this paper notes...

MINDSPACE: Influencing behaviour through public policy

In an effort to aid policy makers seeking to change behaviour, a team of researchers summarise nine non-coercive influencers of human behaviour: the messanger (who a message comes from); incentives (such as loss avoidance); norms (what other people already do); defaults (ie, maintaining the status quo); salience (the novel and interesting); priming (acting after subconscious...