Introducing Swiss Cyber Storm 2017 Speaker Anthony Vance


Introducing Swiss Cyber Storm 2017 Speaker Anthony Vance

“Given a choice between dancing pigs and security, users will pick dancing pigs every time”. Generations of security officers have made jokes based on this popular saying and I have never heard anybody challenge its true core. Yet, why are users behaving like this? And why have 20 years of friends getting hacked, near-daily press coverage of security incidents and tedious awareness programs failed to change this fundamental behaviour pattern?

Prof. Anthony Vance, Brigham Young University

Professor Anthony Vance wanted to sort this out. So he used combined functional magnetic resonance imaging and traditional usability testing to examine users while surfing the web and watching video clips. The results reveal a substantial effect of neurobiology on user’s security behavior. It is worth looking at his results in detail: Security interfering with ongoing tasks (dual-task interference) has to fight for sufficient neural activation. And if the struggle puts it up against dancing pigs, the fight is over before it even started - or before it came to the attention of the user there was a decision to be made.

Anthony’s results suggest practical ways to improve the security via a better design of user interfaces that is aware of neurobiological fundamentals that are hard to change. His presentation will include various examples and suggestions in this direction.

Anthony on Mt. Bisoke, Rwanda

Our speaker is currently teaching as a Distinguished Associate Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (yes, he is surfing too!). His home university is the Brigham Young University in Utah, where he is part of the Neurosecurity lab. He previously taught in Oulu, Finland, and received a PhD in Management from the Université Paris-Dauphine. Combine this with two other PhDs making him a Prof. Dr. mult. and me looking like a n00b. Did I mention he speaks German on top of it?

Join us and register for the Swiss Cyberstorm Conference on 18th October to hear how you can make sure your users really see your widgets and don’t just click them away.

More about Anthony Vance:

Christian Folini, Program Chair, Swiss Cyberstorm Conference @ChrFolini