Prof Kerry-Lynn Thomson

N Dip IT (PET); B Tech IT (PET), M Tech IT (NMMU); D Tech IT (NMMU)

 

School of Information Technology

kerry-lynn.thomson@mandela.ac.za

041 504 3408

North Campus, Room R103


Biography / Background

Professor Thomson is an Associate Professor in the School of Information Technology, the Head of Department for the Network Engineering department and a senior team member of the Centre for Research in Information and Cyber Security (CRICS). She is the Chair of the international IFIP Technical Committee 11 Working Group 12 (11.12) – Human Aspects of Information Security and Assurance. She has served as the Secretary and Vice-Chair of this Working Group for the past nine years.  Professor Thomson is a senior instructor in the Cisco Networking Academy Program and is an industry certified Cisco Certified Networking Associate, and has achieved the CCNA Security certification.

Professional Activities

In her capacity as a cybersecurity researcher, Professor Thomson has been invited as a guest speaker on cybersecurity awareness topics at various schools, career evenings, and leadership academies.  She has published several research articles in journals, presented papers at national and international conferences, been an invited contributor for a security encyclopaedia and is a member of number international conference program committees.


Teaching Interests

I subscribe to the humanising pedagogical approach when it comes to Learning and Teaching, and I see this as building relationships between lecturers and students.  I facilitate the learning and help students build knowledge through creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving.

In trying to foster this, I have employed concepts such as the Flipped Classroom approach for some of my student classes.  The students work through the learning material that I provide to them before class and are able to work at their own pace. Then, in class, I answer questions, work through exercises, and use class discussions/debates.

My teaching is focused on communication networks and cybersecurity, with topics such as network device configuration, troubleshooting and secure network design.


Research Interests

Professor Thomson’s research is primarily focused on information and cybersecurity.  Her research includes investigations into the fostering of information and cybersecurity culture through awareness, training and education, in an attempt to mitigate cyberthreats by reducing the human attack surface. 

The research includes studies into the pervasive integration of information and cybersecurity into undergraduate curricula across multiple disciplines, including IT and Nursing Sciences, addressing security fatigue in organisations through user acceptance of cybersecurity, addressing cyberbullying through interdisciplinary cyberbullying campaigns at schools and cybersafety for school children, mitigation of social engineering, research concerning eduroam and SANReN, and using a personal informatics approach for internet self-regulatory efficacy in Universities. 

Significant output from her research includes a model for information security shared tacit espoused values for cultivating an information security culture and promoting prosocial organisational behaviour.


Representative Publications