Tam Nguyen, CISSP, Announces New Research Paper: “Towards Human Digital Twins for Cybersecurity Simulations on the Metaverse”

Published by JMIR Publications in JMIRx Med


Visualization of Cybonto
A visualization of Cybonto’s core ontology, reflecting the complexities of the cognitive systems of future digital human twins.

TUCSON, Arizona – May 5, 2022 – (Newswire.com)

Tam Nguyen, CISSP and researcher at the University of Arizona, published a new research paper in JMIR publications: “Toward Human Digital Twins for Cybersecurity Simulations on the Metaverse: Ontological and Network Science Approach”.

The technological revolution has familiarized the world with a new concept: the Metaverse. The Metaverse is a massive unified digital realm created from virtual and augmented reality, blockchain, social media, cloud infrastructure, 3D networks, and more. simulating the real world. With this growing digital universe, cybersecurity becomes even more important. Currently, cyber defense strategies are still reactive and slow; while it usually only takes pirates 15 hours to break through the defence, defenders take 200 to 300 days to discover a breach. In his article, Nguyen suggests expanding the scope of digital twins (DTs) and human digital twins (HDTs) in the metaverse for cybersecurity defense purposes.

DTs are virtual models designed to accurately mirror physical objects such as routers, servers, IoT systems. HDTs are a specialized form of DTs that can act as system users, system administrators, and malicious agents. Because HDTs are completely autonomous, they can interact with other HDTs and DTs. Therefore, complex cybersecurity simulations can be played in secure sections of the metaverse. The key is to build realistic human digital twins who can think and act like real hackers/defenders.

Nguyen’s recently published paper in JMIR presents a conceptual framework for running massive cybersecurity simulations on the metaverse with HDTs. The framework is based on a new cybersecurity behavioral ontology or “Cybonto”, which aims to improve the cognitive systems of human digital twins. At the heart of Cybonto is a collection of 108 psychological constructs and thousands of related paths based on 20 proven psychological theories. HDT design teams can implement Cybonto so that their HDTs can realistically mimic the thought processes and behaviors of system users, system administrators, and even malicious agents. Challenging cybersecurity scenarios can then be simulated 24/7 on secure sections of the metaverse. Simulated results can provide insight into complex interdependent networks of systems, users, administrators, and hackers. This information will lead to more proactive and effective cybersecurity strategies.

Cybonto is versatile. It can be used for other purposes such as manual analysis of hacker behaviors and automatic analysis of behavioral cybersecurity knowledge texts. Cybonto may also find uses beyond medical cybersecurity for applied psychology training, automatic analysis of electronic health records, and virtual community psychology experiences.

Nguyen is open to further discussions at [email protected].

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Tam Nguyen, CISSP, Announces New Research Paper: “Towards Human Digital Twins for Cybersecurity Simulations on the Metaverse”

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