SecHuman Annual Symposium on 10 February 2023

From ethics in IT security to the need for interdisciplinary IT security research - discover the research universe of SecHuman.

Cordial invitation to the annual symposium of the graduate school „Security for Humans in Cyberspace“ (SecHuman) on 10 February 2023, on-site in Bochum and online.

Keynote speakers Dr. Kevin Macnish (remote, Consulting Manager in Digital Ethics at Sopra Steria, former Assistant Professor of Ethics and IT at the University of Twente) and Dr. Deborah Wiltshire (Head of Secure Data Center at GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences) will shed light on questions of ethics in IT security research.

In the afternoon, short presentations and a poster session provide insights into the current research and the thematic scope of SecHuman.

The event is open for anyone interested in human and societal aspects of IT security and is held in English.

Date: Friday, 10 February 2023
Time: 9:45 am – 4:00 pm
Place: RUB, Building ID, 03/653 (Attention: Change of room number!) and online

Please register using the following link by 25 January 2023:

Directions to the venue by car

Directions to the venue by public transport


Programme (to PDF version of the programme)

9:45 – 10:00 am Registration and coffee

10:00 – 10:15 am Welcome
Prof. Dr. Christof Paar, Deputy speaker SecHuman

10:15 – 10:30 am Greetings
Prof. Dr. Günther Meschke, Vice-Rector for Research and Transfer, RUB

10:30 – 11:30 am KEYNOTE I
„The state and relevance of ethics in IT security research“
Dr. Kevin Macnish (remote), Consulting Manager in Digital Ethics at Sopra Steria, former Assistant Professor of Ethics and IT at the University of Twente

Abstract: Cybersecurity is an increasingly important area of research and development as digital networks, and associated risks, reach into ever more areas of our lives. Important as it is, though, in liberal societies we should not tolerate security at any cost - people, communities and society should be protected from harm. There is a human element to all areas of technology, not least cybersecurity, which affects people in myriad ways. How then should we grapple with the impact of cybersecurity and how should we enable research in the field so that it is beneficial to society while minimizing potential harms? This talk will set out the current landscape and frameworks for engaging with ethics and cybersecurity, as well as raising ongoing challenges in the field.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm KEYNOTE II
„Ensuring the ethical use of big data: lessons from secure data access“
Dr. Deborah Wiltshire, Head of Secure Data Center at GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Abstract: In recent years ever-increasing amounts of data has become available. This has great potential for society but is not without legal and ethical challenges. Secure Data Centers regularly face the often-difficult balancing act of greater data access and greater potential for risk and have developed strong security models and frameworks for ensuring the safe, legal and ethical use of sensitive, potentially disclosive data. This talk gives an overview of the legal and ethical challenges while introducing key security models, and the lessons learnt from secure data access. It will wrap up with a discussion of some of the newly emerging challenges.

12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch break

1:30 – 2:30 pm Spotlight: Research projects SecHuman II

  • Jonas Hielscher and Uta Menges: Innovative, productivity-friendly IT security solutions and risk management in organisations
  • René Walendy and Markus Weber: Cognitive factors in hardware reverse engineering
  • Johannes Willbold and Kaya Cassing: Ethical vulnerability research: Automated methods and ethical orientation
  • Lukas Plätz and Jan Schmutzler: Protection against re-identification under linkage of data
  • Leona Lassak and Hanna Püschel: Solutions for autonomous data decisions
  • Wentao Yu and Nora Giljohann: Author profiling for hate speech spreaders

2:30 – 3:45 pm Poster session: Research projects SecHuman II
Coffee break included

3:45 – 4:00 pm Goodbye
Prof. Dr. Christof Paar, Deputy speaker SecHuman

4:00 pm End

Kindly supported by: Bochum Wirtschaftsentwicklung


The graduate school SecHuman focuses on technical and social problems of IT security in an inter- and transdisciplinary research environment. In addition to the technological aspects of IT security, we look at the consequences and challenges for people, society and culture in order to develop appropriate solutions. SecHuman is based on an innovative tandem concept: In each tandem, a doctoral student from a technical field works together with a doctoral student from the humanities or social sciences. To ensure the socio-political and also practical relevance of the research, we cooperate with numerous partners from industry, politics and civil society.

The graduate school is part of the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security at the Ruhr University in Bochum and is currently represented by Prof. Angela Sasse and Prof. Christof Paar as spokespersons. SecHuman is funded by the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Culture and Science (MKW).