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Using Psychology to Evaluate and Develop Organisational Cybersecurity Resilience

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  • Full or part time
    Dr J McAlaney
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The Department of Psychology at Bournemouth University (BU), in conjunction with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl, part of the Ministry of Defence), is offering a fully funded PhD studentship on the topic of psychological factors of resilience against cyber security threats within organisations. This studentship offers the opportunity to work within a highly topical, interdisciplinary project with supervisory expertise from academia and industry.

Project Details

Organisational resilience refers to the ability of an organisation to withstand changes in the environment and still function. It is influenced by several factors, including the resilience of individual employees and the culture of the organisation. An increasingly common threat to the resilience of organisations are cyber-attacks, including issues such as theft of customer data and ransomware attacks. Within cyber security, it is accepted that the question is not if an organisation will be breached, but instead when.

Whilst organisational resilience has been studied across industries such as the health sector and safety-critical industries there is little work relating to cyber security. It has been noted that doubts over their own resilience following a cyber-attack is one of the most commonly cited concerns of businesses in the UK and Europe. As such it is vital for organisations to have the resilience needed to adapt and respond to both gradual change and major incidents.  

The successful candidate will work under the supervision of BU and Dstl to:

i) Map and review current cyber security resilience strategies within organisations, including commercial, governmental and military organisations.
ii) Evaluate these strategies in relation to the psychological literature on resilience.
iii) Produce psychologically informed, best practice guidelines for organisations on how to evaluate resilience within organisations and how to implement realistic and sustainable strategies that promote resilience in a manner appropriate to the requirements of that organisation.

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate a strong interest in interdisciplinary research and the ability to communicate effectively with stakeholders from academia, industry and government. They will be expected to produce outputs from the beginning of the research and regularly throughout the duration of the PhD.

How to apply:

Applications are made via our website using the Apply Online button below. If you have an enquiry about this project please contact us via the Email NOW button below, however your application will only be processed once you have submitted an application form as opposed to emailing your CV to us.

Candidates for funded PhD studentship must demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years.

The PhD Studentships are open to UK, EU and international students. Candidates for a PhD Studentship should demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years and must demonstrate:

• A 1st class honours degree and/or a relevant Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent. If English is not your first language you’ll need IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component).

Please note that due to the nature of this PhD it is restricted to UK nationals.

Funding Notes

Funded candidates will receive a maintenance grant of £14,777 per year to contribute towards living expenses during the course of your research, as well as a fee waiver for 36 months.

Funded Studentships are open to both UK/EU and International students unless otherwise specified.

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