Protective Factors for Developing Cognitive Skills against Cyberattacks

María Cazares, Walter Fuertes, Roberto Andrade, Iván Ortiz-Garcés, Manuel Sánchez Rubio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Cyberattacks capitalize on human behaviors. The prevalence of cyberattacks surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, fueled by the increased interconnectivity of individuals on online platforms and shifts in their psychological dynamics due to the pandemic’s context. The enhancement of human factors becomes imperative in formulating a robust cybersecurity strategy against social engineering in the post-COVID-19 era and in anticipation of analogous pandemics. This study aims to propose a model for delineating strategies across various phases of cyberattacks, grounded in the cyber kill chain model, while also encompassing cognitive mechanisms for adaptive responses. This approach aims to cultivate defensive cognitive factors like resilience and self-efficacy. To achieve this objective, we conducted an exploratory study adhering to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Subsequently, we pursued a descriptive and correlational study based on prevalent attacks during the pandemic. The intention was to pinpoint proactive factors conducive to the development of cognitive capabilities to counter cyberattacks. These insights could pave the way for the creation of training programs and technological solutions aimed at mitigating the impact of such cyberattacks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4007
JournalElectronics (Switzerland)
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • cognitive mechanisms
  • cyberattacks
  • cybersecurity model
  • social engineering


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