Exploring the Gray Space of Cybersecurity with Insights from Cognitive Science


The cybersecurity environment is constantly expanding in ways that are unexpected and challenging to perceive. As the computers and software used in cybersecurity tools struggle with integrating new and novel information, they often generate a barrage of false alarms for security analysts and expand the time and efficiency of their investigations.

On the other hand, humans use memory, past experiences, and mental models to contextualize the world around us. Much like humans learn to organize, categorize, and contextualize, we must build technology with the capability to do these complex actions more quickly and more accurately than they do today.

In this report, we explore how humans develop methods for understanding and reasoning within their environment. We also examine how these very human methods relate to the high-tech world of cybersecurity. In the end, you’ll find a powerful parallel between how humans learn to think and reason, and how security technology can be designed to improve how we cope with the “gray space.”