Connecting Delayed Pre-commitment with Cyber Awareness in Order to Address the Perception Gap and Present Bias

Dates: January 2019 – March 2020
Lead researchers: Dr Anna Cartwright, Coventry University


This project investigated measures designed to improve cyber-security behaviour in small organisations (with less than 50 employees). The primary aim of the project was to explore the potential for cyber-security health-checks, coupled with a simple behavioural intervention (or ‘nudge’), to improve cyber-security behaviour in small organisations, built around the NCSC small business guide. After the health-check, an intervention was trialled to help overcome procrastination, and participants were surveyed before and after the health check about cyber behaviour in their organization. This allowed for exploration of the effect of the health-check and intervention.

A typology of small business behaviour was also developed to explore how amenable businesses might be to cyber advice and the adoption of behavioural tools to overcome procrastination.


Interviews with a range of parties – including Cyber Protect officers, cyber-security experts, small business and charity owners and managers. Data analysis from the Cyber Security Breaches Survey.

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Funders: Home Office
External collaborators: Home Office, NCSC, Kent Police, Leicestershire Police.


Posted on

December 9, 2021