Emerging Cyber Threats and Cognitive Vulnerabilities

Emerging Cyber Threats and Cognitive Vulnerabilities

1st Edition - September 20, 2019
  • Editors: Vladlena Benson, John Mcalaney
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128162033
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128165942

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Emerging Cyber Threats and Cognitive Vulnerabilities identifies the critical role human behavior plays in cybersecurity 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. This book covers a variety of topics and addresses different challenges in response to changes in the ways in to study various areas of decision-making, behavior, artificial intelligence, and human interaction in relation to cybersecurity.

Key Features

  • 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 "hacktivists"
  • Investigates the use of personality psychology to extract secure information from individuals


Researchers in psychology who study human-factors, human-computer interaction, and applied psych. Secondary market: professionals in computer science, engineering, tech development, and policy-making

Table of Contents

  • 1. Human element in cybersecurity
    2. Cognitive computing and cybersecurity
    3. Factors leading to cyber victimization
    4. Terrorism, ideology and radicalization
    5. Context dependent user beahvior and cybersecurity controls
    6. Cybersecurity analytics and big data
    7. Securing the Internet of Things
    8. Privacy modelling and protection
    9. Ethics in the Digital Age
    10. Blockchain and DLT technologies in cybersecurity
    11. Online research methods
    12. Robotics, AI and machine learning
    13. Groups online: hacktivism and social protest
    14. Script kiddies: How online tools may encourage criminal behavior
    15. Other cyberpsychology topics

Product details

  • No. of pages: 252
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2019
  • Published: September 20, 2019
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128162033
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128165942

About the Editors

Vladlena Benson

Professor Vladlena Benson, leads the Cybersecurity and Innovation Partnership and the IS Research group of academics working in the areas of cyber security risk management, information and supply chain security. Professor Benson is a Founding member of the Neustar International Security Council - an industry leading forum of trust, integrity and confidentiality focused on defending against cyber threats. Vladlena has served on the Board of Directors of ISACA London and Central UK over the last three years. She has published over 100 journal papers, books, edited volumes and other publications. Vladlena's research encompasses areas of innovation actions across cybersecurity risk management, financial and VFA technologies. Her research at Aston has been supported by grants from the European Commission, GCRF, Ministry of Science and Technology (Taiwan), UK Strategic Priorities and the British Council. Having been recognized as a Women in IT Editor's Choice Award in 2017, Professor Benson continues her work in creating an inclusive space in cyber security careers.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Aston Business School, Aston University, UK

John Mcalaney

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.

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Professor of Psychology, Bournemouth University, UK