Published: 18 February 2016

New research project tackles cyber security challenges

The Department of Computer Science is to develop, in partnership with academics in Singapore and Australia, an automated process to detect cyber insecurity which does not rely on human involvement.

The research project, COMMANDO-HUMANS: COMputational Modelling and Automatic Non-intrusive Detection Of HUMan behAviour based iNSecurity, is being led at Surrey by Dr Shujun Li, aided by Dr Haiyue Yuan.

It is well known that human factors are a very important aspect of cyber security. It is estimated that 95 per cent of all security incidents involve human error and greatest impacts of successful security attacks involving insiders are exposure of sensitive data, theft of intellectual property and the introduction of malware.

This project aims at developing the first general-purpose computational framework and supporting software tools that will enable automatic detection of human behaviour-related insecurity without the need to involve real human users.

The framework will be built on computational models of human cognitive processes, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), human behaviour-related attacks and (in)security measures. The automated process can also be combined with traditional user studies to make better use of limited resources in automatically detecting potential insecurity problems deserving further manual analysis.

Both the software framework and new knowledge on human behaviours can also help address other challenges in cyber security such as detection of intruders/extremists through knowledge of how they behave and protection of user privacy through understanding how people handle personal data.

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