Project Proposal Form
Please refer to the Project Handbook when completing this form and note that your proposal should be your own original work and you must cite sources in line with university guidance on referencing and plagiarism .
Degree Title: MSc Cyber Security and Human Factors
Project Title/Area: The common mistakes Internet users make in organizing the cybersecurity of data
Section 1: Project Overview
1.1 Problem definition – use one sentence to summarise the problem:
The majority Internet users do not consider the actual seriousness of cybersecurity problems and make essential mistakes while protecting their data; as a result, one can see a total disregard for simple cybersecurity rules.
1.2 Project description – briefly explain your project:
The project’s theme is considered very relevant, especially in 2022, the two-year experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has raised questions about cybersecurity for people in a new way. The protection of personal data (workers who have switched to remote work, patients in hospitals) has become especially important during total forced digitalization. The first part consists of an overview of the most significant mistakes that Internet users make, when protecting their data. These mistakes include sharing your password with friends, colleagues, and family. In addition, people often come up with passwords related to their parents’ and pets’ names and put one password on all or any of their social networks. The second part of the project aims to study the psychological and personal aspects of making such mistakes. The third part of the project consists of possible ways to overcome user errors.
The goals and objectives of the project are clearly defined, but during the preparation of the project, the question arose of which aspect of the project would play the most crucial role. Given the urgency of the problem, the project’s abstract goal was to find universal solutions for all people how to avoid neglecting the rules of cybersecurity. Subsequently, the project’s goal was shifted to a less abstract one and was associated with the study of the most common mistakes and attempts to explain their origin.
1.3 Background – please provide brief background information, e.g., client, problem domain, referencing literature (minimum 4-5 sources):
For the project, the researcher read several articles on the human factor in cybersecurity. The original plan included websites in the bibliography that vividly describe a human error. However, the researcher decided to concentrate on scientific articles. Scientific articles served as the foundation for work on the topic itself. Thus, Hughes-Lartey et al. (2021) explain the problem of cybersecurity in simple terms and draw parallels between personal aspects and the likelihood of data leakage. An article by Linkov et al. (2019), conspicuously written before the COVID-19 pandemic, describes the issue of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. A report by Pollini et al. (2021) reveals that measures to counter leaks and hacks are often very complex procedures that are difficult for people involved in their everyday work or life activities to perform. The article by Rahman et al. (2021) appeals to the general culture of cybersecurity and emphasizes that the need for severe and careful data protection is not organized in society.
1.4 Research question(s):
What are the main mistakes Internet users make when organizing their data security?
Does personality type (according to the MBTI typology) affect online behaviour and security organization? If it does, how exactly? Why do certain users tend to make more mistakes and fall for phishing links or share passwords?
What recommendations can be given to avoid future mistakes in organizing the security of the data?
1.5 Aims and objectives – should be specific and measurable:
Study the features of human behaviour on the network and identify the most common mistakes in organizing data security.
To find the most common cybersecurity user mistakes and sort them.
To identify the relationship between cybersecurity errors and human personality type within the MBTI framework, answering why people can make such errors.
To find ways to avoid the described mistakes, while the methods should not be difficult to perform.
Section 2: Artefact and Planning
2.1 What is the artefact that you intend to produce?
The project’s artefact will be the Project Charter, which presents the project’s goals and objectives. In simple language, briefly and concisely, the project charter will explain the strengths and weaknesses of the project. The charter will explain the main parts and elements of the project, and on these parts, the study will progress over the allotted time. Due to the accessible language and explanations, specialists from other fields of a wide variety will study the project charter if they wish.
2.2 How do you intend on conducting the project (to produce the above artefact successfully)? Please provide a GANTT chart at the end of this form, in Section 6.
The project starts with a literature review; this part is the largest into which the project is divided. The literature review should be careful and precise because, among the sources on the topic of cybersecurity, there are a lot of originals written by amateurs, not professionals in their field. After the literature review, the project will cover the first task above. It is planned to find several common mistakes and, most importantly, to streamline them so that they are not presented chaotically in the project. Then, it is planned to analyse the forums in which people share their experience in following cybersecurity rules. Many users notice parallels between their attitudes towards cybersecurity and their personality type. Many people try to ask others for advice on whether a career in cybersecurity is right for them if they belong to one personality type or another. The third task is to find solutions to user’s errors. After the project, it will take, perhaps, from one to three days to draw conclusions and correct the artefact.
Section 3: Evaluation
3.1 How are you going to evaluate your project artefact?
I’m going to evaluate my artifact by the degree of achievement of the set goals. The first task will require a varied list of bugs, and the score will be higher if complete bug lists are provided. The second task involves a complete study of the forums and user comments. The score will be higher if all 16 personality types are covered as part of user comments. The third task will also require good analysis and information synthesis skills. I will rate my artifact also on the third task and on writing style and grammar.
3.2 How does this project relate to your MSc Programme?
This project fleshes out many aspects of my master’s program on the human factor in cybersecurity. The project calculates the mistakes most often made by ordinary people and subsequently draws parallels with their psychological personality type. Perhaps the project has a kind of psychological orientation, which would be appropriate to develop in the future. It requires consultation with psychologists and professionals in the field of cybersecurity.
3.3 What are the risks in this project and how are you going to manage them?
The project’s risks lie in the fact that I do not have a psychological education and attempts to combine the human factor and cyber security cannot claim to be profound. The second risk is the flow of literature and articles on the Internet on this subject. The problem is that the literature review should be prudent since many articles on this topic are written by bloggers, streamers, and not scientists. Lastly, health challenge of the researcher.
Section 4: References
Hughes-Lartey, K., Li, M., Botchey, F. and Qin, Z., 2021. Human factor, a critical weak point in the information security of an organization’s Internet of things. Heliyon, 7(3).
Linkov, V., Zámečník, P., Havlíčková, D. and Pai, C., 2019. Human Factors in the Cybersecurity of Autonomous Vehicles: Trends in Current Research. Frontiers in Psychology, 10.
Pollini, A., Callari, T., Tedeschi, A., Ruscio, D., Save, L., Chiarugi, F. and Guerri, D., 2021. Leveraging human factors in cybersecurity: an integrated methodological approach. Cognition, Technology & Work.
Rahman, T., Rohan, R., Pal, D. and Kanthamanon, P., 2021. Human Factors in Cybersecurity: A Scoping Review. The 12th International Conference on Advances in Information Technology.
Section 5: Academic Practice and Ethics
Please delete as appropriate.
5.1 Have you made yourself familiar with, and understand, the University guidance on referencing and plagiarism?
5.2 Do you acknowledge that this project proposal is your own work and that it does not contravene any academic offence as specified in the University’s regulations?
5.3 Have you submitted online ethics checklist to your supervisor? Yes
5.4 Has the checklist been approved by your supervisor? Yes
Section 6: Proposed Plan (please attach a GANTT chart below)