NIST - National Institute of Standards and Technology

06/13/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/14/2024 03:03

Towards Bridging the Research Practice Gap: Understanding Researcher Practitioner Interactions and Challenges in Human Centered Cybersecurity

June 13, 2024


Julie Haney, Clyburn Cunningham, Susanne Furman


Human-centered cybersecurity (HCC) researchers seek to improve people's experiences with cybersecurity. However, a disconnect between researchers and practitioners, the research-practice gap, can prevent the application of research into practice. While this gap has been studied in multiple fields, it is unclear if findings apply to HCC, which may have unique challenges due to the nature of cybersecurity. Additionally, most gap research has focused on research outputs, largely ignoring potential benefits of research-practice engagement throughout the entire research life cycle. To address these gaps, we conducted a survey of 133 HCC researchers. We found that participants most often engage with practitioners during activities at the beginning and end of the research life cycle, even though they may see the importance of engagement throughout. This inconsistency may be attributed to various challenges, including practitioner and researcher constraints and motivations. We provide suggestions on how to facilitate meaningful researcher-practitioner interactions towards ensuring HCC research evidence is relevant, available, and actionable in practice.
Proceedings Title
Twentieth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security
Conference Dates
August 11-13, 2024
Conference Location
Philadelphia, PA, US
Conference Title
Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security
Pub Type

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human-centered cybersecurity, research, practice


Haney, J. , Cunningham, C. and Furman, S. (2024), Towards Bridging the Research-Practice Gap: Understanding Researcher-Practitioner Interactions and Challenges in Human-Centered Cybersecurity, Twentieth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, Philadelphia, PA, US, [online], (Accessed June 14, 2024)

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