Posts By Ragnhild Halvorsrud

Evaluation of a Tool to Increase Cybersecurity Awareness Among Non-experts (SME Employees)

Abstract: Humans are the weak link in cybersecurity, hence, this paper considers the human factor in cybersecurity and how the customer journey approach can be used to increase cybersecurity awareness. The Customer Journey Modelling Language (CJML) is used to document and visualise a service process. We expand the CJML formalism to encompass cybersecurity and develop an easy-to-use web application as a supporting tool for training and awareness. We present the results from the usability test with ten persons in the target group and report on usability and feasibility. All participants managed to finish the test, and most participants indicated that the tool was easy to use. By using the tool, non-expert users can make user journey diagrams showing basic conformance in a short time without professional training. For the threat diagram, half of the users achieved full conformance. In conclusion, the tool can serve as low-threshold cybersecurity awareness training for SME employees. We discuss the limitations and validity of the results and future work to improve the tool’s usability.

Cybersecurity Awareness and Capacities of SMEs

Abstract: Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly exposed to cyber risks. Some of the main reasons include budget constraints, the employees’ lack of cybersecurity awareness, cross-sectoral cyber risks, lack of security practices at organizational level, and so on. To equip SMEs with appropriate tools and guidelines that help mitigate their exposure to cyber risk, we must better understand the SMEs’ context and their needs. Thus, the contribution of this paper is a survey based on responses collected from 141 SMEs based in the UK, where the objective is to obtain information to better understand their level of cybersecurity awareness and practices they apply to protect against cyber risks. Our results indicate that although SMEs do apply some basic cybersecurity measures to mitigate cyber risks, there is a general lack of cybersecurity awareness and lack of processes and tools to improve cybersecurity practices. Our findings provide to the cybersecurity community a better understa nding of the SME context in terms of cybersecurity awareness and cybersecurity practices, and may be used as a foundation to further develop appropriate tools and processes to strengthen the cybersecurity of SMEs.

The HORM Diagramming Tool: A Domain-Specific Modelling Tool for SME Cybersecurity Awareness

Abstract: Improving security posture while addressing human errors made by employees are among the most challenging tasks for SMEs concerning cybersecurity risk management. To facilitate these measures, a domain-specific modelling tool for visualising cybersecurity-related user journeys, called the HORM Diagramming Tool (HORM-DT), is introduced. By visualising SMEs’ cybersecurity practices, HORM-DT aims to raise their cybersecurity awareness by highlighting the related gaps, thereby ultimately informing new or updated cyber-risk strategies. HORM-DT’s target group consists of SMEs’ employees with various areas of technical expertise and different backgrounds. The tool was developed as part of the Human and Organisational Risk Modelling (HORM) framework, and the underlying formalism is based on the Customer Journey Modelling Language (CJML) as extended by elements of the CORAS language to cover cybersecurity-related user journeys. HORM-DT is a fork of the open-source software, which was modified to facilitate the creation of cybersecurity-related diagrams. To evaluate the tool, a usability study following a within-subject design was conducted with 29 participants. HORM-DT achieved a satisfactory system usability scale score of 80.69, and no statistically significant differences were found between participants with diverse diagramming tool experience. The tool’s usability was also praised by participants, although there were negative comments regarding its functionality of connecting elements with lines.

It’s Not My Problem: How Healthcare Models relate to SME Cybersecurity Awareness snippet
It’s Not My Problem: How Healthcare Models relate to SME Cybersecurity Awareness

Abstract: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) make up a significant part of European economies. They are often described as poorly place to deal with cyber risks though because of resource constraints or commercial interests. Providing appropriate tooling would facilitate a greater appreciation of the risks and provide mitigation strategies. In a series of workshops demonstrating visualization tools for cybersecurity, constructs from healthcare models such as awareness, self-efficacy, and a willingness to engage were investigated to throw light on the likelihood that the technologies would be adopted. Although most constructs were validated, it turns out that self-efficacy could more appropriately be interpreted as a desire to understand a broader company narrative rather than empowering any individual to identify and manage cyber risk. As part of an ongoing examination of technology acceptance, this work provides further evidence that technology must be contextualized to make sense for the individual as part of the SME rather than as individual employee.

Socio-technical Cybersecurity Risk Assessment diagram
Cybersecurity for SMEs: Introducing the Human Element into Socio-technical Cybersecurity Risk Assessment

Abstract: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) rarely conduct a thorough cyber-risk assessment and they may face various internal issues when attempting to set up cyber-risk strategies. In this work, we apply a user journey approach to model human behaviour and visually map SMEs’ practices and threats, along with a visualisation of the socio-technical actor network, targeted specifically at the risks highlighted in the user journey. By using a combination of cybersecurity-related visualisations, our goals are: i) to raise awareness about cybersecurity, and ii) to improve communication among IT personnel, security experts, and non-technical personnel. To achieve these goals, we combine two modelling languages: Customer Journey Modelling Language (CJML) is a visual language for modelling and visualisation of work processes in terms of user journeys. System Security Modeller (SSM) is an asset-based risk-analysis tool for socio-technical systems. By demonstrating the languages’ supplementary nature through a threat scenario and considering related theories, we believe that there is a sound basis to warrant further validation of CJML and SSM together to raise awareness and handle cyber threats in SMEs.