CREST Security Review

CREST Security Review is a quarterly magazine which provides a gateway to the very best knowledge and expertise. The articles in CSR translate academic jargon to ‘so what’ answers and illustrate how behavioural and social science can be used effectively in everyday scenarios.

The mission of CREST Security Review is to equip its audience with knowledge about the latest research that seeks to understand, mitigate and counter security threats. Each issue has a core of articles focusing on a particular theme, accompanied by a number of general interest pieces.

You can download issues of CSR here for free. If you have any questions about how you can use our content, see our copyright page. If you would like to be notified about CSR and CREST news, please fill in the form here.

If you’d like to write for CSR, or have other questions about it, please email us.

Current and past issues

Issue 8 — Influence

Salespeople, politicians, work colleagues – we’re surrounded by people trying to influence us, and of course we try to influence them too. This issue of CSR gives an insight into some of the latest research on influence, from the ethical challenges of some techniques, through how people can be primed to be persuaded, to how to inoculate people from being influenced by fake news.

Other articles in this extra-long issue cover understanding how cultural stereotypes can improve rapport in interviews, the need to find a way to account for mental disorder in terrorism and mass murder without pathologising violence, and whether or not being under the influence of alcohol makes for more unreliable witnesses, or not.

Issue 7 — Transitions

From helping extremists reintegrate back into society, to looking at cults and the reasons why people both leave and stay, this issue explores the series of difficult transitions some individuals and groups make. It includes research on programmes that help extremists make the transition from violent groups back into society; research that helps crisis negotiators train successful negotiation techniques, and research that looks at Russian interference on Twitter following the 2017 UK terror attacks.

Refugees often don’t have choices in the series of difficult transitions they make, we have an article that charts the risks and dangers of these transitions, as well as results from a study into a Swedish programme that helps far-right extremists make the transition to productive democratic citizens. This issue also includes work on the difficulties of communicating across cultures, and a mindmap on what people mean when they say ‘I don’t know’ during an interview setting.

Issue 6 — Decision Making

CSR CREST Security Review - Decision Making

From teams operating in extreme environments, to the emergency services, to people responsible for cyber security, understanding decision making is very important. Current research can help decision makers avoid misleading biases, from being paralysed by the choices available, or failing to get information out to the people who need it.

In this issue we feature some of the latest research, including decision-making processes in cyber security, decision making under stress, and terrorist decision making. We also have an A-Z guide to decision-making terms as well as articles on how to recover from making errors in negotiations, why we’re more likely to be scammed than we think we are, and what we can learn from Northern Ireland about engagement in violent extremism.

Issue 5 — Networking

CSR CREST Security Review - Networks

Studying networks not only gives us an insight into our human behaviour. It also helps us understand weak points in critical networks, be it food or energy supply, or in the way a company is run. When focusing on security threats, examining networks can highlight weak points in terrorist activities or vulnerabilities in our own defences.

This issue of CSR highlights how studying networks can help us understand security threats and how understanding weak points in networks can be useful in both offensive and defensive applications. Articles include a bluffers guide to social network analysis, an analysis of Islamic State’s use of Telegram and research on some of the barriers to reporting on friends and family suspected of terrorism.

Issue 4 — After Islamic State

CSR CREST Security Review - After Islamic State
The Islamic State’s territory is in decline. Squeezed on all sides, it is facing a future where it can no longer lay claim to statehood. In this issue of CREST Security Review (CSR), leading scholars from around the globe consider ‘what happens after Islamic State?’ Topics include the plight of children forced to join Islamic State; the effects on countries like Yemen – which may become an ideal location for retreating fighters; and how al-Qaeda may benefit from Islamic State’s decline. Also in this issue there are articles on the positive benefits of migration in the case of Sri Lanka; on why people hold conspiracy theories; and on what makes groups successful (and how to disrupt them).

Issue 3 — Transmission

CSR CREST Security Review - Transmission
Understanding how extremist ideas are transmitted is a key priority of many governments and law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies. This issue of CSR focuses on ‘transmission’ – the transmission of ideas, beliefs and values. Studying transmission focuses attention on how, where and by whom extremist ideologies are acquired and spread. However, the issue doesn’t just focus on the transmission of extremist ideas. Most ideas and values are not extreme, and the issue includes articles on transmission of religious identity within families and on how the internet has affected transmission. Other articles cover inconsistency in interviews, and why it can be difficult to spot unfamiliar faces.

Issue 2 — Cyber Security

CSR CREST Security Review - Cyber Security
This issue of CSR considers social science contributions to cyber security. It highlights research on ‘everyday insider threats’ to organisations, the threat from cyber enabled and cyber dependent crimes and the hacker mind set. There’s also a long-read on the future of religious belief and extremism as well as findings from research on English Defence League activists.

Issue 1 — Information Elicitation

CREST Security Review Issue 1
With a special focus on Information Elicitation this issue showcases research on why we are more trusting online, eliciting information the friendly way, and which lie detection techniques work. Other articles cover how your watch will soon know you better than yourself and what are the similarities and differences between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims.