Security and Human Behavior (SHB 2012)

I’m at the Fifth Interdisciplinary Workshop on Security and Human Behavior, SHB 2012. Google is hosting this year, at its offices in lower Manhattan.

SHB is an invitational gathering of psychologists, computer security researchers, behavioral economists, sociologists, law professors, business school professors, political scientists, anthropologists, philosophers, and others—all of whom are studying the human side of security—organized by Alessandro Acquisti, Ross Anderson, and me. It’s not just an interdisciplinary event; most of the people here are individually interdisciplinary.

This is the best and most intellectually stimulating conference I attend all year. I told that to one of the participants yesterday, and he said something like: “Of course it is. You’ve specifically invited everyone you want to listen to.” Which is basically correct. The workshop is organized into panels of 6-7 people. Each panelist gets ten minutes to talk about what he or she is working on, and then we spend the rest of the hour and a half in discussion.

Here is the list of participants. The list contains links to readings from each of them—definitely a good place to browse for more information on this topic. Ross Anderson, who has far more discipline than I, is liveblogging this event. Go to the comments of that blog post to see summaries of the individual sessions.

Here are links to my posts on the first, second, third, and fourth SHB workshops. Follow those links to find summaries, papers, and audio recordings of the workshops.

Posted on June 5, 2012 at 1:16 PM6 Comments


Dirk Praet June 6, 2012 5:35 PM

Impressive list of participants. And amusing to see Jaeyeon Jung, an MSFT researcher, presenting stuff on Android device and application security. I like it when people step out of their comfort zone.

SnallaBolaget June 9, 2012 11:27 AM

It’s a little sad that a security conference gets so little attention – it’s been going down ever since the first one.

On the other hand, it’s also a very strange initiative – set up a security conference without any security professionals… where is law enforcement?
Where are the CPPs and PSPs, private security experts, physical security experts, or even behavioral analysts (as opposed to the behavioral economists…)?

I’m very sure that any number of LE agencies and private security companies would love to lend a hand and talk about real world security administration, strategies and planning.

At the end of the day, it looks like the people behind this “SHB” thing invites the people they’d like to hear (this being an “invitational” event”) and skips lightly past the people who actually know security beyond the computer screen, statistics and paper-pushing.

The good thing may be, based on the dwindling attention, commenting, references etc. that the general security minded population is also catching on to that.

Jon June 14, 2012 5:19 AM

Beware of any conference that involves only those you invite, and only those who congratulate each other.

Those you don’t want to listen to may be even more educational.


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