Tallinn University of Technology

Ongoing digitalisation processes in our societies are facing Cybercrime threats. Efforts to increase cybersecurity involve an increasing number of societal sectors, such as education, health, and countless examples of critical infrastructure. In addition to technical solutions in the field of software and hardware design, the professional expertise of qualified psychologists is needed to integrate the human factor into the security systems utilising robust scientific foundations. It is humans who defend machines and networks against other humans trying to attack them. It is also humans that need to be made aware of the risks associated with their behaviour.


Who are we looking for?

Our RESEARCHATHON aims for psychology students who would like to become familiar with the fields of Cybersecurity. No prior knowledge about IT or Cybersecurity is required. All you need for a participation in this RESEARCHATHON is to be enrolled in a psychology study or another behavioural science, stable internet access, and an open mind.

What do you learn?

The RESEARCHATHON will provide you with basics and examples of how behavioural sciences can contribute to a better handling of security challenges and gives you the chance to virtually meet other psychology students from around the world to discuss and develop approaches to apply psychological principles for better cybersecurity performance. While doing this, you will also learn about the integration of various psychological sub-disciplines.

What aspects of psychology will be relevant?

The very interesting aspect of this field of application is that you can make use of all sorts of psychological areas - such as for example cognitive, personal, social, organisational and even clinical psychology. The applied nature of this challenge keeps us on our toes when we work on the transfer between flexibly adjusted applications of academic knowledge towards usable practice.

According to the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), psychologists are needed in cybersecurity for several reasons:

  1. Human factors: Human errors, such as poor password management, can pose a significant risk to the security of an organisation. Psychologists can help identify and mitigate these human factors by understanding how people interact with technology and identifying patterns of behaviour that could lead to security breaches.
  2. Social engineering: Cyber attackers often use social engineering tactics to trick individuals into divulging sensitive information or taking harmful actions. Psychologists can help organisations understand these tactics and develop strategies to mitigate them.
  3. Insider threats: Insider threats are a significant concern in cybersecurity. Psychologists can help organisations identify and address potential insider threats by understanding the motivations and behaviours of employees.
  4. Cybersecurity awareness training: Effective cybersecurity awareness training requires an understanding of how people learn and retain information. Psychologists can help design and implement effective training programs that are tailored to the specific needs of the organisation and its employees.

Overall, psychologists bring a unique perspective to cybersecurity by understanding human behaviour and how it relates to technology. By incorporating psychological expertise into cybersecurity strategies, organisations can better protect themselves from cyber threats.

Who are we?

We represent the EU-funded project “CySec4Psych”. We are trained psychologists with international backgrounds working and researching in the field of IT-Security. Our fields of interests range from further education on cyber awareness in complex organisations, cyber-enabled crime, up to performance in military cyber defence, the role of teams in socio-technical systems to the role of cybersecurity for political disinformation.
In this event, we are representing the Saarland University (Germany), Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia), Leiden University (Netherlands) and the Helmholtz Center for Information Security (CISPA; Germany).

Why are we doing this?

We are passionate about applied psychology  and want to give psychology students a first insight into the exciting field of IT-Security as a fast  growing field for professional development which requires for its further development an injection of psychological expertise by future generation psychologists. We also want to introduce the psychology student to possible career paths in an exciting field where there are many possibilities.

What will it be like?

We will meet online for the duration of this event. We will provide you with our perspectives, you will work in international groups of psychology students on solutions to common challenges by feeding in and developing your psychological knowledge and interests. If you liked the RESEARCHATHON, you will afterwards also be informed about and invited to future activities of our group, such as follow-up RESEARCHATHONs and our Summer Schools.

When is it, what does it cost?

Participation in the RESEARCHATHON is completely free of charge

Thursday, 25 May, starting at 4.00pm (CET), and all of Friday, 26 May from about 9.30am to 3.00pm (CET). This online event will be hosted by Tallinn University of Technology.

How can I register?

Register here

The event is open on a first-come-first-serve basis. We will reply to you with a link for online registration and are happy to reply to any questions you might have. Some days before the actual event we send out a detailed meeting agenda including breaks.

For any questions regarding participation, content and arrangements, please feel free to contact us at any time!

Looking forward to meeting you at our RESEARCHATHON!