Gentle Interventions for Security (GIFS)

Principal Investigator: Dr Emily Collins, University of Cardiff

Users are still at the centre of cyber security and are responsible for making a large number of security related decisions on a daily basis, despite a lack of understanding of the risks involved. Drawing from the literature and theoretical frameworks surrounding habit formation in health-related behaviours and from successful ambient “nudge” interventions in the areas of work-breaks and health, this project aims to explore the potential for ambient displays (such as small, desktop light boxes) to gently encourage more secure habits in workplace office contexts at times tied specifically to the behaviour in question. One of the important features of this project is a user-centred approach, aiming to identify what security behaviours should be the focus, and the form the ambient displays should take through the research itself, and iterating the displays before conducting a final evaluation. To this end, taking a mixed methods approach, this project aims to:

  • Identify how security behaviours could be encouraged or discouraged through ambient displays.
  • Identify the most effective ambient features to use in such interventions.
  • Develop an ambient display in line with this research and finally.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of such a display on security behaviours.


Posted on

August 10, 2020