Adam Szekeres graduated

Adam Szekeres successfully completed his PhD trial lecture and thesis defense at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology on Tuesday, the 1st of December 2020, and will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Information Security and Communication Technology.

The title of his thesis is Human Motivation as the Basis of Information Security Risk Analysis and the given topic for his trial lecture was Cybersecurity and AI”.

The importance of human decision-making in security is highlighted by the fact that the concept of security exists for a fundamental reason: stakeholder incentives can be misaligned i.e. there may exist at least one person who would benefit from causing a loss to another entity. The previously established Conflicting Incentives Risk Analysis (CIRA) method places the strength of human motivation at the centre of the risk analysis process. As the purpose of risk analysis is to make predictions about potential future events to guide resource allocations, CIRA relies on predictions about the behavior of key stakeholders in the future. The method’s real-world applicability depends on the accuracy with which strategic stakeholder decisions can be predicted. Therefore, there is a need for the reliable and valid assessment of human motivation underlying observable behaviour. This thesis contributes to the literature of information security risk analysis by investigating the predictability of human behavior and by integrating a major motivational theory into CIRA’s existing framework. This work assumes highly restricted environments with adversarial stakeholders who may be inaccessible for traditional psychological assessment methods and non-cooperative with an analyst, which requires the use of unobtrusive methods for inferring relevant motivational profile information about stakeholders. The overall goal is to provide a better understanding about the connection between basic human motivations and the resulting risks which may pose a threat to the safety and security of societies relying on Smart Grids enabled by IoT technologies.

The following committee has been appointed to evaluate his thesis, trial lecture and defense:

  • First external opponent: Professor Steven Furnell, School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom.
  • Second external opponent: Professor Mariëlle Stoelinga, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands.
  • Internal member and committee administrator: Associate Professor Basel Katt, Department of Information Security and Communication Technology, NTNU Gjøvik.

Adam Szekeres carried out his PhD work at the Department of Information Security and Communication Technology, Gjøvik, NTNU.

His main supervisor was Professor Einar Snekkenes, IIK, NTNU and co-supervisor Associate Professor Laura Georg Schaffner, IIK, NTNU.


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