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Visual analytics for non-expert users in cyber situation awareness

Legg, Philip



Situation awareness is often described as the perception and comprehension of the current situation, and the projection of future status. Whilst this may be well understood in an organisational cybersecurity context, there is a strong case to be made for effective cybersecurity situation awareness that is tailored to the needs of the Non-Expert User (NEU). Our online usage habits are rapidly evolving with smartphones and tablets being widely used to access resources online. In order for NEUs to remain safe online, there is a need to enhance awareness and understanding of cybersecurity concerns, such as how devices may be acting online, and what data is being shared between devices. In this paper, we extend our proposal of the Enhanced Personal Situation Awareness (ePSA) framework to consider the key details of cyber situation awareness that would be of concern to NEUs, and we consider how such information can be effectively conveyed using a visual analytic approach. We present the design of our visual analytics approach to show how this can represent the key details of cyber situation awareness whilst maintaining a simple and clean design scheme so as to not result in information-overload for the user. The guidance developed through the course of this work can help practitioners develop tools that could help NEUs better understand their online actions, with the aim of giving users greater control and safer experiences when their personal devices are acting online.


Legg, P. (2016). Visual analytics for non-expert users in cyber situation awareness.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 7, 2016
Publication Date Nov 1, 2016
Journal International Journal on Cyber Situational Awareness
Print ISSN 2057-2182
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 1
Keywords situation awareness, visual analytics, cyber security
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This article is open access. The journal's open access and license policy can be found here:


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