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Levy CyLab

The research in our laboratory focuses on addressing the following four key research areas and their interconnections: Cybersecurity, User-authentication, Privacy, and Social-Engineering



Figure 1: Cybersecurity LandscapeCybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities are causing substantial financial losses for individuals, organizations, and government agencies all over the world. Such cybersecurity landscape can be classified under three major pillars: (a) technology/system, (b) human-computer, and (c) socio-political-organizational (Figure 1). One of the weakest links in the cybersecurity chain has to do with the individuals who are using and protecting such systems. The focus of our Levy CyLab research group is to work on diverse projects related to the human-centric lens of all three cybersecurity landscape pillars. In the technology/systems pillar, user-authentication has long been a challenge due to the overuse of passwords and ease at which they can be guessed or cracked. In the human-computerpillar, employees’ mistakes, due to low cybersecurity competencies and skills represent the majority of cybersecurity threats to organizations. Moreover, non-IT employees have low awareness of the magnitude of cybersecurity threats and their impact on organizations, government, and society. On the other hand, increase complexity for computer systems due to demands for heighten security can cause frustration, resistance, and lower productivity. In the socio-political-organizational pillar, identity theft, social engineering, and insider threats are on the rise, while posing eminent threats to the reputation as well as financial stability of individuals, societies, governments, and organizations. Our research focuses on all three cybersecurity pillars by: (a) development of novel approaches to improve user-authentication with biometrics and multi-factor authentication, including their use in e-learning systems; (b) development of innovative tools to measure cybersecurity skills and reduction of human errors related to cybersecurity; as well as (c) development of state-of-the-art tools to identify insider-threats, programs to help mitigation of social engineering and other cyber threats, along with the protection of privacy and corporate intellectual property, threat mitigation and cybersecurity risk management analysis. Over the last 12 years, our Levy CyLab group has published over 35 papers in refereed publications, one patent application, five grant submissions (one internal $10K grant awarded), four external gifts ($7K total), and 21 doctoral students have completed their dissertation research in these areas.

Current Research 

Our current work continues to focus on the human-centric lens of all three cybersecurity pillars with increased emphasis on the development of state-of-the-art tools and prototype applications to assist in the measurement of cybersecurity skills, identify insider-threats, cybersecurity hygiene, along with experimental studies to assist organizations with: business e-mail compromise (BEC), social engineering, cyber threat mitigation, improve business continuity plans and resilience, as well as cybersecurity risk management.

- Cybersecurity Threat Mitigations:

  • Assessment of cybersecurity skills, competencies, and awareness among employees/individuals
  • Identity theft and privacy threats vectors
  • Cyber risk management
  • Resistance to collaborate with Federal law enforcement agencies on cyber incidents 

- Social Engineering:

  • Social engineering (phishing & vishing) threat mitigation and prevention
  • Cybersecurity hygiene
  • Business E-mail Compromise (BEC)
  • Security, Education, Training, and Awareness (SETA) programs
  • Organizational and employee resiliance to social engineering

- User Authentication:

  • User authentication (Via Web/mobile or physical at work/home) 
  • Resistance to biometric and multi-factor authentication 
  • Reduced employee productivity due to increase user authentication measures

For contributions to our efforts, please: 
Visit the Nova Southeastern University Gift and Donations page
1. Under "Gift Area" - select "College of Engineering and Computing"
2. Under "Gift Donation" - select "CEC - Center for e-Learning Security Research" 

Thank you for the generous contribution!


Principal Investigator 

Yair Levy, Ph.D. - Levy CyLab PI

Yair Levy, Ph.D.

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Current Ph.D. Students and Projects

Shahar Aviv, Ph.D. Student Shahar (Sean) Aviv, Ph.D. Candidate
Dissertation title: "An Examination of User Detection of Business Email Compromise Amongst Corporate Professionals"
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Carlene Blackwood-Brown, Ph.D. Student Carlene Blackwood-Brown, Ph.D. Candidate
Dissertation title and abstract: An Empirical Assessment of Senior Citizens’ Cybersecurity Awareness, Motivation to Pursue Training, and Perceived Risk of Identity Theft
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Karla Clarke, Ph.D. Candidate Karla Clarke, Ph.D. Candidate
Dissertation title: "Novel Alert Visualization: The Development of a Visual Analytics Prototype for Mitigation of Malicious Insiders Cyber Threat"
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Gabriel Cornejo, Ph.D. Student Gabriel Cornejo, Ph.D. Student
Dissertation title: "Human Errors in Cybersecurity Breaches: An Empirical Investigation using fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA)"
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Keiona Davis, Ph.D. Candidate Keiona Davis, Ph.D. Candidate 
Dissertation title: "The Role of Cybersecurity Responsibility in Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on Risk of Point-of-Sale (POS) Data Breach"
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Jodi Goode, Ph.D. Student Jodi Goode, Ph.D. Candidate
Dissertation title: "Comparing Training Methodologies on Employee’s Cybersecurity Awareness and Skills in Traditional and Socio-Technical Programs" 
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Angel Hueca, Ph.D. Student Angel Hueca, Ph.D. Candidate
Dissertation title: "Development and Validation of a Proof-of-Concept for Malicious Cybersecurity Insider Threats Alerting System Utilizing Analytics-based Visualization in Real-Time"
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Emmanuel Jigo, Ph.D. Student Emmanuel Jigo, Ph.D. Student
Dissertation title: "Development of Criteria for Mobile Device Cybersecurity Threat Classification and Communication Standard using Labels, Pictogram, as well as Safety Data Sheets"
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Guillermo (Will) Perez, Ph.D. Student Guillermo (Will) Perez, Ph.D. Student 
Dissertation title: "Cyber Situational Awareness and Cyber Curiosity Taxonomy for Understanding Susceptibility of Social Engineering Attacks in the Maritime Industry"
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William Shawn Wilkerson, Ph.D. Student William Shawn Wilkerson, Ph.D. Candidate 
Dissertation title: "Development of a Social Engineering Exposure Index using Open Source Personal Information"
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Alumni and Past Projects

Robert Batie, Ph.D. Robert R. Batie, Ph.D. - Raytheon
Dissertation title (2016): "Assessing the Effectiveness of a Fingerprint Biometric and a Biometric Personal Identification Number (BIO-PIN) as a Multi-Factor Authentication Mechanism"
Sandra J. Blanke, Ph.D. Sandra J. Blanke, Ph.D. - University of Dallas
Dissertation title (2008): "A study of the contributions of attitude, computer security policy awareness, and computer self-efficacy to the employees' computer abuse intention in business environments."
Shonda D. Brown, Ph.D. Shonda D. Brown, Ph.D. - CIGNA Healthcare and Middle State Georgia University
Dissertation title (2015): "An information privacy examination of the practices of pharmaceutical companies regarding use of information collected through their Websites."
Shauna Beaudin, Ph.D. Shauna Beaudin, Ph.D. - Southern New Hampshire University
Dissertation title: "An Empirical Study of Authentication Methods to Secure E-learning System Activities Against Impersonation Fraud"
Melissa Carlton, Ph.D. Melissa Carlton, Ph.D. - Florida State University 
Dissertation title (2016): "Development of a cybersecurity skills index: A scenarios-based, hands-on measure of non-IT professionals’ cybersecurity skills"
MinSuk Choi, Ph.D. MinSuk Choi, Ph.D.
Dissertation title (2013): "Assessing the role of user computer self-efficacy, cybersecurity countermeasures awareness, and cybersecurity skills toward computer misuse intention at government agencies."
Marlon Clarke, Ph.D. Marlon Clarke, Ph.D. - Director of IT Security - MagicLeap
Dissertation title (2010): "The role of self-efficacy in computer security behavior: Developing the construct of computer security self-efficacy (CSSE)."
Theon Danet, Ph.D. Theon Danet, Ph.D. - DOD
Dissertation title (2006): "A study of the impact of users' involvement, resistance, and computer self-efficacy on the success of a centralized identification system implementation."
Abbe E. Forman, Ph.D. Abbe E. Forman, Ph.D. - ECPI University
Dissertation title (2009): "An exploratory study on the factors associated with ethical intention of digital piracy."
Robert Hambly, Ph.D. Robert J. Hambly, Ph.D. - Defense Media Activity (DMA)
Dissertation title (2016): "Towards assessing the willingness of intelligence analysts to contribute to Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) in highly classified environments."
Wilnelia Hernandez, Ph.D. Wilnelia Hernandez, Ph.D. - Universidad del Turabo, Puerto Rico (USA)
Dissertation title (2016): "An empirical assessment of employees cyberslacking in the public sector."
Kenrie Hylton, Ph.D. Kenrie Hylton, Ph.D. - Northern Caribbean University
Dissertation title (2012): "An experiment using Webcam-based surveillance to deter information systems misuse."
Okay Igbonagwam, Ph.D. Okay Igbonagwam, Ph.D. 
Dissertation title (2008): "The contribution of security clearance, users’ involvement, and computer self-efficacy in the efficiency of requirements-gathering process: An information-systems case study in the U.S. military."
Gerald D. Johnson, Ph.D. Gerald D. Johnson, Ph.D. 
Dissertation title (2012): "Development of an audit classification index (ACI) for federal e-learning systems security vulnerabilities."
Joseph Marnell, Ph.D. Joseph Marnell, Ph.D. - Wayland Baptist University
Dissertation title (2016): "An Empirical Investigation of Factors Effecting Resistance to Use Multi-Factor Authentication Systems in Public-Access Environments"
Herb J. Mattord, Ph.D. Herb J. Mattord, Ph.D. - Kennesaw State University
Dissertation title (2012): "Assessment of Web-based authentication methods in the U.S.: Comparing e-learning systems to Internet healthcare information systems."
Stephen Mujeye, Ph.D. Candidate Stephen Mujeye, Ph.D.
Dissertation title (2016): "An Experimental Study on the Role of Password Strength and Cognitive Load on Employee Productivity"
Richard Nilsen, Ph.D. Student Richard Nilsen, Ph.D.
Dissertation title (2017): "Measuring Cybersecurity Competency: An Exploratory Investigation of the Cybersecurity Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Necessary for Organizational Network Access Privileges"
Garrett Smiley, Ph.D. Garrett Smiley, Ph.D. - Northcentral University
Dissertation title (2013): "Investigating the role of multibiometric authentication on professional certification e-examination."
Joshua D. Stalker, Ph.D. Joshua D. Stalker, Ph.D.
Dissertation title (2012): "A reading preference and risk taxonomy for printed proprietary information compromise in the aerospace and defense industry."
Raymond Wells, Ph.D. Raymond Wells, Ph.D. - The College of The Bahamas and Bahamas National Insurance Board
Dissertation title (2012): "An empirical assessment of factors contributing to individuals’ propensity to commit software piracy in The Bahamas."

Posters Presented:

- Shauna Beaudin, "An Empirical Study of Authentication Methods to Secure E-learning System Activities Against Impersonation Fraud"
- Shonda D. Brown "An Information Privacy Examination of the Practices of Pharmaceutical Companies Regarding Use of Information Collected Through Their Websites" 

- Melissa Carlton "Development of a Scenarios-Based, Hands-on Measure of Non-IT Professionals' Cybersecurity Skills"
- Anita Girton "An Empirical Study on the Role of Cybersecurity Skills on Perceived Need for Actions to Mitigate Cyber Misuse"
- Stephen Mujeye "An Experimental Study on the Role of Password Strength and Cognitive Load on Employee Productivity"
- Joseph Marnell "An Empirical Investigation of Factors Affecting Resistance to Using Multi-Method Authentication Systems in Public-Access Environments"
- Daira Vargas "Social Engineering and Web-Based Authentication: An Assessment of Personal Identifiable Information (PII) Found on Social Networking Tools (SNTs)"
- Robert R. Batie "Using a Fingerprint Biometric and a Biometric Personal Identification Number (BIO-PIN) as a Multi-Factor Authentication Mechanism"
- Wilnelia Hernández "An Empirical Assessment of Employees' Cyberslacking in the Service Sector"
- Joshua Stalker "A Reading Preference and Risk Taxonomy for Printed Proprietary Information Compromise: A Case Study on Corporate E-training in the Defense Industry"
- Marlon R. Clarke "The Role of Self-Efficacy in Computer Security Behavior: Developing the Construct of Computer Security Self-Efficacy (CSSE)"

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