Nudging towards secure behaviour


How could a simple picture of a fly painted on a urinal make the bathrooms at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport 80% cleaner?

The answer is through the simple, but incredibly effective, power of “Nudging”.

Richard Thaler recently won the Nobel Prize for Economics for his work in bringing Nudge theory to prominence. Nudges take advantage of the characteristics of the way we all think, and of our innate biases, to influence our motivations, behaviour and decision-making. It has been applied to everything from improving the hygiene of men’s urinals to encouraging increased saving in personal pensions.

At Think Cyber Security, our team is leading the way in applying these theories, combined with other behavioural and learning science, to security awareness. We are developing innovative tools to Nudge, inform, and empower users against cyber threats, including phishing.

The cyber threat continues to evolve, targeting people as much as technology. We’ve seen, first hand and in the research, that traditional security awareness approaches simply do not changebehaviours. People are a critical line of defence. Far from being the weakest link, they have the potential to be one of the most powerful assets in helping to detect and defeat attacks.

Our approach has now been recognised by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK – with the award of a grant to enhance and scale up our product set. The focus is on combining best practice in Human-Computer Interface design with behavioural science, in order to reduce cyber security risk. With Innovate UK funding support, we will be working with designers and academics, as well as gathering empirical evidence of the effectiveness of our products through user trials and product tests.

Contact us for more information ( We are seeking innovative security teams who would like to get involved in product trials as part of our Innovate UK project.

Brain image copyright jezper / 123RF Stock Photo

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