Unmasking the Subconscious Fallacies Within Critical Infrastructure Protection





Cybersecurity, Critical Infrastructure, Decision Making, De-prioritization, Subconcious Bias, Mitigation Strategies


Cybersecurity, a vital challenge in today’s ever-changing digital world, it has gained prominence with the global shift towards cyber-enabled critical infrastructures. Critical infrastructure protection efforts are fundamental for the continuation of essential services. Traditionally constituted as separate sectors, these infrastructures are increasingly interconnected, leading to potential domino effects during security breaches. For instance, failures within the power grid could have cascading effects on multiple sectors that depend on electricity for their operations, creating large-scale failures that affect functions on which society depends. The multidimensional nature of the infrastructures presents complex challenges for solutions, given their status as long-established legacy systems needing further development and enhancements to withstand the digital world. The lack of a concerted and focused infrastructure enhancement strategy has led to incremental approaches versus a comprehensive revamp to ensure a holistic cyber protection program. A lack of national focus has created inconsistencies that can lead to potentially catastrophic consequences. Understanding the decision-making processes within a complex environment is critical to the mission success. One significant risk is the cognitive roadblocks that have the potential to influence one’s judgements as this often outweighs balanced decisions. This study aims to investigate the subconscious biases that arise from a perceived resolution of the problem which can lead to de-prioritization within the decision-making processes. The study employs a convergent parallel mixed methods design to collect and analyse the data. The study then will compare the results allowing for the exploration of various aspects of the research. This approach is aligned to provide a thorough understanding of the challenges associated with protecting the infrastructures and the underlying subconscious fallacies in the digital age, thereby devising effective mitigation strategies, and fostering a more sustainable and resilient critical infrastructure that is useful for a variety of stakeholders, including policymakers, infrastructure owners and operators, cybersecurity professionals, and researchers

Author Biography

Marion Stephens, Doctoral Student

Marion Stephens has over 20 years experience in various cybersecurity roles, certifications ranging from Governance, Risk, and Compliance, to Ethical Hacking. Degrees in Production Management, IT Management, Cybersecurity, and currently pursuing a Doctorate in Strategic Intelligence. Unique blend of qualifications with diverse background offers a comprehensive holistic view of cybersecurity.