Using Design Thinking to Fuse Behavioural Science with Cyber Deception

July 23rd, 2021

Speaker: Prof Debi Ashenden, DST Group-University of Adelaide Joint Chair in Cybersecurity, School of Computer Science|Faculty of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences, University of Adelaide

Title: Using Design Thinking to Fuse Behavioural Science with Cyber Deception


Recording link:

Date Time: 24 June 2021 11:00AM -12:00 AEST

Abstract: As the military moves to a manoeuvre approach and away from relying on a defeat level of force, success depends less on preparing solely for a zero-sum game through more efficient kinetic warfare, and more on understanding how to achieve a desired effect. Cyber deception tools offer one way of achieving an effect in the network domain and while they are increasingly sophisticated, they rely on a limited set of deception techniques.  In current deployments of cyber deception, the network infrastructure between the defender and attacker comprises the defence/attack surface.  For cyber deception tools to evolve further they must address the wider attack surface; from the network through to the physical and cognitive space.  This talk outlines a pilot project that has kick-started a three-year project funded by the Defence Science and Technology Group in Australia.  The pilot project explored using design thinking to bring deception experts from different backgrounds together to start to develop ways to fuse deception techniques that could be deployed on a network.   In the course of discussing the project this talk will also address the use of design thinking and transdisciplinary research in defence.

Bio: Debi holds the DST Group-University of Adelaide Joint Chair in Cybersecurity. In addition, she is Professor of Cyber Security at the University of Portsmouth (UK) and a visiting Professor at Royal Holloway, University of London (UK).  Debi’s research interests are in the social and behavioural aspects of cybersecurity – particularly in finding ways of ‘patching with people’ as well as technology. She is currently researching transdisciplinary approaches to modelling complex warfighting, how to fuse behavioural science with cyber deception, and the socio-technical aspects of designing complex military systems.

Debi was previously Head of the Centre for Cyber Security at Cranfield University at the Defence Academy of the UK and was a member of the UK MOD’s Defence Science Expert Committee.  She has worked extensively across the public and private sector for organisations such as UK MOD, GCHQ, Cabinet Office, Home Office, Euroclear, Prudential, Barclaycard, Reuters and Close Bros. She has had a number of articles on cyber security published, presented at a range of conferences and co-authored a book for Butterworth Heinemann, Risk Management for Computer Security: Protecting Your Network & Information Assets.