Benjamin James Knox successfully completed his PhD trial lecture and thesis defense at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology on Friday, the 29th of May 2020 and will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Information Security and Communication Technology.
The title of his thesis is “Cyberpower Praxis: A Study of Ways to Improve Understanding and Governance in the Cyber Domain” and the given topic for his trial lecture was “Gamification and information privacy education”.
His thesis presents a route to better cyberpower praxis by encouraging a more open, holistic and flexible way of thinking about competence development for learners in the cyber domain. Attempting to combine capacities and skills on multiple plains via alternative forms of education can help build understanding around a common goal of harnessing or defeating cyberpower effects.
Deterring threats and reducing an adversary’s attack surface in the cyber domain is complex and requires multiple levels of control. One such level is the human cyber operator. The task characteristics of cyberspace operations require effective coordination between multiple agents and asset types (human, technical, tangible and intangible). To support performance, cyberoperators will likely benefit from the psychological characteristics of cognitive agility: self-regulated individuals with openness, flexibility, and adaptability. Therefore, the objective of his thesis is to identify ways to develop the cognitive competencies that support better domain cognisance and self-governance capabilities among novice level cyber operators.
The following committee has been appointed to evaluate his thesis, trial lecture and defense:
- First external opponent: Professor Emeritus Rossouw von Solms, Department of Computer Science & Information Technology, School of Information and Communication Technology, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
- Second external opponent: Assistant Professor Aggeliki Tsohou, Department of Informatics, Faculty of Information Sciences and Informatics, Ionian University, Corfu, Greece.
- Internal member and committee administrator: Associate Professor Basel Katt, Department of Information Security and Communication Technology, NTNU Gjøvik.
Benjamin James Knox carried out his PhD work at the Department of Information Security and Communication Technology, NTNU in Gjøvik.
His main supervisor was Professor Sokratis Katsikas, Department of Information Security and Communication Technology, NTNU and co-supervisors Professor Kirsi Helkala, Norwegian Defence Cyber Academy, and Professor Stefan Sütterlin, Østfold University College.