ideas42 channels unique behavioral science approach to cybersecurity with launch of novella highlighting key issues and solutions

New York, March 20, 2017 – Leading non-profit behavioral design firm ideas42 today unveiled a unique approach to highlighting and resolving key behavioral problems in cybersecurity with the launch of an original, serialized novella.

The new “true-crime”- style short story Deep Thought: A Cybersecurity Story dramatizes the human factors in cybersecurity and is followed by a robust index of key insights from behavioral science that can be used to improve security protocols. The narrative, to be released in multiple installments, highlights the human actions and decisions that often compromise digital information and computer security. These range from password issues to more complex concerns such as coding practices and organizations’ resource investment choices.

Despite public and private sector investments in sophisticated security systems, the level of risk is immense. In the search for answers, efforts have been heavily skewed toward finding technological solutions. However, up to 80% of the cost attributed to cyber-attacks is actually a result of human error.

With Internet access rapidly expanding across the globe and the proliferation of greater connectedness across business, finance, and individuals, ensuring privacy and security is more important than ever, as underscored by recent high-profile breaches such as the hacking of American political party systems during the 2016 election cycle.

“It is because of the urgency around strengthening cybersecurity that we chose to present our insights as an engaging novella instead of using the more traditional white paper approach,” said ideas42 Executive Director Josh Wright. “With the release of a unique piece like Deep Thought: A Cybersecurity Story and our supporting analysis, we hope to reach more leaders and decision-makers who can take needed steps to increase the strength of their organizations’ digital networks.”

The first installment of ideas42’s novella debuted today at New America’s Cybersecurity for a New America conference and can be read at

“Simply clicking on a bad link can be devastating to network security, and the strongest security network in the world is only as good as the human with the password,” continued Wright, “Furthermore, human error in security is not limited to end-users. The challenges around understanding and addressing human behavioral factors in cybersecurity present a rich vein of opportunity for making the system as a whole more robust.”

ideas42’s work in cybersecurity is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Cyber Initiative in partnership with New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative. The goal is to focus on behavioral insights and solutions that can be adopted quickly and brought to scale. For a full copy of the novella and behavioral insight appendix contact us at For a video introducing the novella, click here.

About ideas42

ideas42 has a clear mission: to use our unique experience at the forefront of behavioral science to change millions of lives. We create innovative solutions to tough problems in economic mobility, health, education, consumer finance, energy efficiency and international development. Our approach is based on a deep understanding of human behavior and why people make the decisions they do. Working closely with our partners from government, foundations, NGOs and companies, we have more than 80 active projects in the United States and around the world.

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