CREST’s role in helping to understand, counter, and mitigate security threats is valued highly.
Since CREST’s inception in 2015, our research has made demonstrable changes to operational practice through the application of new tools and techniques. It has also helped practitioners to advance their understanding of different theories, methods, and applications. And not just in the UK – our research continues to reach audiences around the world.
This article looks back on and celebrates some of that research. Featured below are seven highlights from our past five years.
Emma Williams, Joanne Hinds, and Adam Joinson’s research on spear phishing was included in a report published by the National Cyber Security Centre on phishing protection and used in guidance prepared by CPNI in relation to phishing simulations. Adam’s related introductory guide, co-authored with Joanne Hinds, introduces the main approaches to phishing and the reasons people fall for it.
Jasjit Singh’s work on Sikh radicalisation led directly to changes in the Home Office guidance on Afghanistan, as well as introducing a new methodology for community groups to tackle difficult conversations. It has also contributed to work in Canada focused around communicating with and about Sikh citizens.
The Timeline Technique
Lorraine Hope’s Timeline Technique has provided greater insights into key national security issues, showing that more information can be obtained from those who are released or escape having been held hostage, as opposed to a straightforward question and answer session.
Paul Thomas and Michele Grossman’s work on Community Reporting Thresholds has become a central element of delivering the UK Prevent strategy, influencing a number of workstreams led by the national Prevent team.
Managing Organisational Change
Rosalind Searle and Charis Rice’s work on Managing Organisational Change led to the development of a range of practitioner tools that have been shared with a wide variety of stakeholders. Frameworks are being put to use by NHS Scotland and follow-up work has been funded by CPNI to aid further understanding of the area.
Sarah Marsden’s work on deradicalisation and disengagement was presented to senior members of the Home Office, including policy makers and strategy advisers, across a two-day set of workshops. As a result, Marsden was invited to chair a new independent expert committee developed to advise the Home Office. Not only has this led to evidence-based insights being shared with practitioners, it has also developed closer working relationships across different elements of the Home Office.
Martin Innes’s CREST research relating to digital behavioural influencing led to further funding for a rapid evidence review of social media in light of terrorist incidents. The report has now been published and shared with stakeholders around the world.
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