Augmenting Cyber Defender Performance and Workload through Sonified Displays

Vincent F. Mancuso, Eric T. Greenlee, Gregory Funke, Allen Dukes, Lauren Menke, Rebecca Brown, Brent Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Military cyber operations occur in a cognitively intense and stressful environment, and consequently, operator burnout is relatively high when compared to other operational environments. There is a distinct need for new and innovative ways to augment operator capabilities, increase performance, manage workload, and decrease stress in cyber. In this study, we assessed how a sonified display could address these requirements. Sonification has been demonstrated to be a useful method for presenting temporal data in multiple domains. Participants in the experiment were tasked with detecting evidence of a cyber attack in a simulated task environment modeled after “Wireshark,” a popular packet analyzer program. As they completed the task, participants either did or did not have access to a redundant sonified display that provided an auditory representation of the textual data presented in Wireshark. We expected that the sonified display would improve operator performance and reduce workload and stress. However, our results did not support those expectations – access to the sonification did not affect performance, workload, or stress. Our findings highlight the need for continued research into effective methods for augmenting cyber operator capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5214-5221
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia Manufacturing
StatePublished - 2015


  • Cyber
  • Sonification
  • Stress
  • Workload


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