Increasing Security-Awareness: the Invisible Power of Digital Traces

Duration of the project

01.06.2022. - 15.11.2022.

Countries and institutions involved in the project

Vilnius University
Albstadt-Sigmaringen University
General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania
Tallinn University of Technology
Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences

Project manager

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Agnė Brilingaitė

Aims of the project

Due to the digitalisation of public sectors and the professional environment, cybersecurity research and study areas have become central to ensuring service continuity and protecting private and sensitive data. Education of the cyber workforce focuses on hard IT skills and ignores personality features. As for the general population, the typical recommendations and focus lie on personal account and data protection, e.g. authentication methods, password length and wording, and awareness of phishing techniques. Cybersecurity incidents are becoming more advanced, and their scope is beyond the technical implementation of the attack. In the cyber-kill chain, humans can be a weapon, target, and tool to disturb services, steal data, destroy personal and company reputations, and trigger a political crisis. Social engineering attacks can be prepared using data from cyberspace – digital traces – to target human weaknesses. The advent of AI-based social engineering tools may become a game-changer in the near future’s cybercrime context. We aim to research human behaviour when solving cybersecurity tasks related to various digital traces and aim to widen the scope towards new trends pointing at future cybersecurity challenges. The project team will establish collaboration for further study and research activities in the interdisciplinary approach of cybersecurity, psychology, and education.

Main activities of the project

  1. Initial project meeting – project gathering and workshop in Germany at Albstadt-Sigmaringen University of Applied Sciences’ Faculty of Computer Science to meet local stakeholders, academia and industry, and students. It is planned to organise excursions to IT-Security departments of the local industry as well as dedicated Cybersecurity companies of the region. Face-to-face meetings with local academics are planned to establish an ongoing research and teaching exchange collaboration.
  2. Workshop in Lithuania at the Institute of Computer Science Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at Vilnius University – workshop to discuss further collaboration, finalise the structure of the publication, meet the stakeholders, and run the session for students about behaviour in cyberspace and resilience against social engineering that uses digital traces.

Project target group

Direct: more than 100 – project team, master students at VU (each year 30, the module would be executed at least 3 years).


Indirect: more than 300 – the initiative will be included in the research report and study programme self-assessment report, therefore, the future public funding might be impacted (more than 100 employees at VU Institute of Computer Science; more than 30 master students in computer science each year), international research community (as the paper will be published in an open access journal and available via indexes and ResearchGate platform – at least 200 researchers would be able to read the publication).