Task interruptions undermine cyber defense

Alex Vieane, Gregory Funke, Eric Greenlee, Vincent Mancuso, Brett Borghetti, Brent Miller, Lauren Menke, Rebecca Brown, Cyrus K. Foroughi, Deborah Boehm-Davis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Computer network defense analysts engage a difficult, though critical, task in cyber defense. Anecdotally, these operators complain of frequent task interruptions while they are performing their duties. The goal for the current study was to investigate the effect of a commonly reported interruption, answering email, on accuracy and completion times in a simulated network analyst task. During task trials, participants were interrupted by emails between alert investigations, during alert investigations, or not at all (control). The results indicated that email interruptions increased alert completion times regardless of when they occurred, but interruptions that occurred during an alert investigation also reduced the accuracy of subsequent judgments about alert threat. Overall, the results suggest that task interruptions can potentially undermine cyber defense, and steps should be taken to better quantify and mitigate this threat.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2017 International Annual Meeting, HFES 2017
PublisherHuman Factors an Ergonomics Society Inc.
Pages375-379
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780945289531
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017
EventHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society 2017 International Annual Meeting, HFES 2017 - Austin, United States
Duration: Oct 9 2017Oct 13 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Volume2017-October
ISSN (Print)1071-1813

Conference

ConferenceHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society 2017 International Annual Meeting, HFES 2017
CountryUnited States
CityAustin
Period10/9/1710/13/17

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  • Cite this

    Vieane, A., Funke, G., Greenlee, E., Mancuso, V., Borghetti, B., Miller, B., Menke, L., Brown, R., Foroughi, C. K., & Boehm-Davis, D. (2017). Task interruptions undermine cyber defense. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2017 International Annual Meeting, HFES 2017 (pp. 375-379). (Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society; Vol. 2017-October). Human Factors an Ergonomics Society Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1177/1541931213601576