User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 701–750 | Cite as

Exploring user behavioral data for adaptive cybersecurity

  • Joyce H. Addae
  • Xu SunEmail author
  • Dave Towey
  • Milena Radenkovic


This paper describes an exploratory investigation into the feasibility of predictive analytics of user behavioral data as a possible aid in developing effective user models for adaptive cybersecurity. Partial least squares structural equation modeling is applied to the domain of cybersecurity by collecting data on users’ attitude towards digital security, and analyzing how that influences their adoption and usage of technological security controls. Bayesian-network modeling is then applied to integrate the behavioral variables with simulated sensory data and/or logs from a web browsing session and other empirical data gathered to support personalized adaptive cybersecurity decision-making. Results from the empirical study show that predictive analytics is feasible in the context of behavioral cybersecurity, and can aid in the generation of useful heuristics for the design and development of adaptive cybersecurity mechanisms. Predictive analytics can also aid in encoding digital security behavioral knowledge that can support the adaptation and/or automation of operations in the domain of cybersecurity. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the techniques applied to extract input data for the Bayesian-based models for personalized adaptive cybersecurity assistance.


Cybersecurity Behavioral analytics Predictive modeling Bayesian-inference Adaptive assistance 



The authors acknowledge the financial support from the International Doctoral Innovation Centre (IDIC), Ningbo Education Bureau, Ningbo Science and Technology Bureau, China’s MoST and The University of Nottingham. This work was also supported by the Horizon Digital Economy Research, UK.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joyce H. Addae
    • 1
  • Xu Sun
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dave Towey
    • 1
  • Milena Radenkovic
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Science and EngineeringUniversity of Nottingham Ningbo ChinaNingboChina
  2. 2.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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