Paper Number

2041

Paper Type

CRP

Abstract

The use of metaphors is crucial to advancing not only scientific fields but also in facilitating the development of knowledge and understanding in general. While metaphors facilitate the exchange of novel concepts and ideas, they can also be a hindrance if we do not critically question the root metaphors and the extent to which they apply and do not apply to the subjects we study in cybersecurity research. We find two metaphors to be seemingly popular in characterizing the human actor: (1) the “frightened animal” metaphor with traceable roots to fear-inducing theories, such as Deterrence Theory, and (2) the “weakest link” metaphor with traceable roots to Taylorism and scientific management. We revisit the roots of these two metaphors, critically examine their applicability to the subject matter in cybersecurity, and provide suggestions for improving the status quo.

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Jun 14th, 12:00 AM

RECONCEPTUALIZING THE HUMAN IN THE LOOP: A PROBLEMATIZATION OF TAKEN-FOR-GRANTED METAPHORS IN CYBERSECURITY RESEARCH

The use of metaphors is crucial to advancing not only scientific fields but also in facilitating the development of knowledge and understanding in general. While metaphors facilitate the exchange of novel concepts and ideas, they can also be a hindrance if we do not critically question the root metaphors and the extent to which they apply and do not apply to the subjects we study in cybersecurity research. We find two metaphors to be seemingly popular in characterizing the human actor: (1) the “frightened animal” metaphor with traceable roots to fear-inducing theories, such as Deterrence Theory, and (2) the “weakest link” metaphor with traceable roots to Taylorism and scientific management. We revisit the roots of these two metaphors, critically examine their applicability to the subject matter in cybersecurity, and provide suggestions for improving the status quo.

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