I'm a PhD candidate at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, studying human factors engineering. My research focuses on discovering and refining methods for securing humans in complex digital systems through the synergistic use of concepts from human-systems interaction, human performance modeling, and systems engineering analysis. This work looks for unanticipated interactions between humans and systems, particularly where these interactions can unexpectedly put users or large information systems at risk. By locating and rigorously characterizing these interactions, risk can be reduced by introducing systems design best practices that team with humans more effectively.
Some examples of the topics I explore include the impact of mental models on threat modeling, as well as how models of human behavior can be used to describe and examine both home user- and enterprise-level cyberthreat countermeasures. This interest extends to the use of formal verification and automated model checkers to rigorously explore the interactions between users and computer security utilities.
When not working on the academic problems, I try to find and discuss practical solutions to these problems, particularly on social media. I strongly believe that an integrated approach to network defense-in-depth must work to protect every node, and that includes the user. We spend a significant amount of time developing countermeasures for software, hardware, and firmware attacks on computing infrastructure; it's time that we start thinking seriously about countermeasures for wetware attacks as well. This need will probably continue to grow as users face increasingly sophisticated cyberthreats that exploit human behavior to bypass network perimeter defenses and automated intrusion detection systems.
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