CCE Theses and Dissertations

Campus Access Only

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Information Systems (DCIS)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Maxine S Cohen

Committee Member

James Cannady

Committee Member

William L Hafner


Cognitive Task Analysis, Human Computer Interface, Intrusion Detection, Network Security, PARI Method, Task Diagram


The use of monitoring and intrusion detection tools are common in today's network security architecture. The combination of tools generates an abundance of data which can result in cognitive overload of those analyzing the data. ID analysts initially review alerts generated by intrusion detection systems to determine the validity of the alerts. Since a large number of alerts are false positives, analyzing the data can severely reduce the number of unnecessary and unproductive investigations. The problem remains that this process is resource intensive. To date, very little research has been done to clearly determine and document the process of intrusion detection. In order to rectify this problem, research was conducted which involved several phases. Fifteen individuals were selected to participate in a cognitive task analysis. The results of the cognitive task analysis were used to develop a prototype interface which was tested by the participants. A test of the participants' knowledge after the use of the prototype revealed an increase in both effectiveness and efficiency in analyzing alerts.

Specifically, the findings revealed an increase in effectiveness as 72% of the participants made better determinations using the prototype interface. The results also showed an increase in efficiency when 72% of the participants analyzed and validated alerts in less time while using the prototype interface. These findings, based on empirical data, showed that the use of the task diagram and prototype interface helped to reduce the amount of time it previously took to analyze alerts generated by intrusion detection systems.

To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid OR email address and create an account for NSUWorks.

Free My Thesis

If you are the author of this work and would like to grant permission to make it openly accessible to all, please click the Free My Thesis button.

  Contact Author

  Link to NovaCat