Cybersecurity can be defined as a practice of defending computers, servers, networks, and electronic systems from malicious attacks. Cybersecurity is a growing field in the world with contributions that are essentials to companies nowadays. It is considered a subset of information security but remains unique in that cybersecurity focuses on defending data specifically on the internet, whereas information security is concerned with protecting both electronic and physical information (Buchy, 2016). Many colleges require some science courses to graduate in any program. The correlation between cybersecurity and the scientific study of behavior and mental processes known as psychology appears to be dissimilar. However, several subsets of psychology can be found in the field of cybersecurity. Memory, cognition, and language, and social psychology are four concepts of the study of the mind and its process that will help me understand hackers in my field and handle their attacks.
Cognition is a broad term that describes the mental activity. Cognition can be defined as “the mental activity associated with obtaining, converting, and using knowledge” (Litch, Hull & Ballantyne, 2014). It covers problem-solving, decision-making, and characterizing ideas based on concepts. Similarly, cognition and cybersecurity can relate to each other by using the traditional method of cognition for studying human working processes. The cognitive study in cybersecurity will allow the system to ingest and identify entities and relationships from cybersecurity data sources (Palmer, Angelelli, Linton, Singh, and Muresan, 2016). The concept of cognition will help me through my career to understanding the mind of the attacks in detecting the multiple cyber attacks that can occur. Also, I will easily apprehend their attack knowing how the hacker behaves. The psychology background using cognition will give me strong abilities and analytical skills to know how cyber-criminals think and understand their motivations.
Another concept in psychology that can help me in my field of cybersecurity will be the language. “Language can be defined as a system for using symbols to think and communicate” Litch et al., 2014 p.303). The concept of language will help me in cybersecurity to understand the computer language using in-network. I will also, learn through the use of symbols in language to decode the language of hackers. Knowing some coding language will prepare me for decoding and have a better understanding of the cybersecurity field.
In addition, using the psychological concept of memory can play a major role in my field as a cybersecurity engineer. “Memory refers to the brain processes involved in the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information” (Litch et al., p. 235, 2014). Learning the three different processes of memory in psychology will help me master cybersecurity. Memory in cybersecurity is used as a tool. Memory is stored in a computer similar to how it is stored in the brain. Information is first encoded in the sensory memory, then stored in the short-term and long-term memory where it can later be retrieved. The function of a computer’s RAM and its hard drive correlates to the function of the brain’s short-term memory and long-term memory, respectively.
Social psychology and cybersecurity correlate. In social psychology, society influences human cognition, emotion, and behavior about others. The need for social psychology in cybersecurity is suggested by the large scale of cybersecurity incidents. Online interactions are often based on trust, the sharing of information, and a degree of interdependence. Cybersecurity attacks are based primarily on social engineering techniques, the use of psychological manipulation to trick people into disclosing sensitive information or inappropriately granting access to a secure system (Tetri and Vuorinen, 2013). Social psychology is often used to trick people into falling into the cyber-attack, some that can be encountered are phishing e-mails, which attempt to fool the recipient into opening a link attachment that will install malicious software onto their computer. These phishing e-mails draw upon many principles of social psychology, consumer psychology, and behavior change (Tetri and Vuorinen, 2013). For example, the hacker can use fear to make the recipient an urgency to react to his attack.
Throughout our research, we concluded that there is evidence to support the idea of a correlation between psychology and cybersecurity. By using a psychology approach in cybersecurity, we can develop a better understanding of behavioral patterns for clients. Using psychological concepts will help me through my career as a cybersecurity engineer to better understand the behavior of the hacker and better apprehend their actions. Firstly, cognition and language help us through a collection of rules and units to think and communicate and solve problems. Secondly, the process of memory through encoding, storage, and retrieval. Thirdly, the social psychology relation between the human emotion and behavior with others. The correlation between psychology and cybersecurity has helped me learned how in the future I can understand what motivates the attacker during a cyber-attack. It will also be helped anticipate their behavior and defend against them. I believe that being mindful of this social psychology approach will help us to protect critical infrastructure against our adversaries.
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