To support the amazing and varied research into cybersecurity issues that is being undertaken in our Universities in the South West, we’re going to be regularly sharing news from projects and researchers. 

Rob Peace carried out his research with funding from the EPSRC Centre for doctoral training in Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security in Largescale Infrastructures (TIPS-at-Scale).

Here’s Rob’s synopsis of his project:

Identifying digital trust signals and symbols

As part of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Trust, Information, Privacy, and Security at scale, my project focuses on gaining a greater understanding of trust in digital information and how it is exploited.

As a psychologist, the cybersecurity world was quite an interesting conceptual leap. However, my MSc in criminology and cybersecurity (as well as my interdisciplinary training year focusing on infrastructure security) has given me the ability to understand some of the security challenges we face and how psychology can contribute. The applications of my work range from helping to secure open-source software libraries, to countering dis/misinformation, to offensive research such as convincing attackers a honey pot is trustworthy.

To achieve this, I use a range of social and computational methods, which has led me to complete a number of studies including a systematic review of trust cues across socio-technical disciplines. This was a think aloud study identifying trust calculations in open-source software libraries and I developed a psychological scale to measure users’ perception of the trustworthiness of digital information.

I hope my research will contribute to understanding how we can best utilise and support users to make better judgements about the trustworthiness of digital information. Furthermore, as a psychologist, I hope to help dispel the concept that users as the weakest link and instead recognise them as not only part of socio-technical systems, but as potential assets to security. Attending the Bristol and Bath CyberCon helped to reaffirm that view and was also a fantastic opportunity to meet with industry leaders in the area.

You can contact Rob if you would like more information on his research:

Email – or, follow Rob on LinkedIn here or on Twitter here – @RobHuwPeace.