What is Neurosecurity?

An Introduction to Security of the Mind

Kenneth Reilly
3 min readJul 20, 2023
Photo by Ramón Salinero on Unsplash


Neurosecurity is a field of study and practice which involves the securing of neural devices — including the brain itself — from tampering or invasion of privacy by external actors or forces.

The advent of brain-computer interfaces has increased the attention on the security of brain-connected hardware, exposing risks such as having data siphoned directly from the interface or being remotely controlled by an attacker. While these areas of concern are important, there exists a general challenge in securing the mind in the digital world as it is.

Already, technology corporations are driving human behavior on a grand scale, using highly-efficient and incredibly powerful data models — of both human behavior on an abstract level and the particular habits and patterns of each individual gained from observation — meaning that the field of neurosecurity already applies to most of us living on this planet.

While neural interfaces such as implants and other devices must absolutely be secured to the best possible level, neurosecurity applies to everyone in modern society who interacts with computers and other advanced electronics in ways which affect their behavior.


The idea of neurosecurity, from a computer science perspective, is fundamentally no different from general information security. The general premise is the same: keep a system from being effected in negative ways by external forces or environmental factors.

When referring to the security of the mind, the important question to ask is: what are we securing the mind from, and how do we do it?

Assuming that a person of reasonable self-awareness will generally think and act in ways that are beneficial to themselves and others, a risk factor in neurosecurity could be considered any mental state change in that person which would cause them to think otherwise (in counter-productive or self-limiting ways for example).

These can range from environmental risks, such as over-exposure to RF causing oxidative stress to DNA within the central nervous system, to targeted attacks like brain-jacking neural implants to influence or even control the targeted individual from a distance.

Protecting the nervous system from these effects is the fundamental objective of neurosecurity. Due to the sensitivity of the brain and body in comparison to silicon-based hardware that can be easily worked on and have core software stopped or started at will, great care must be taken to ensure that external influence is minimized and that the potential for external influence is all but eliminated to the highest degree possible.

Threat Identification

A few common threats to neurosecurity include:

While there are other potential risks that may alter the performance and well-being of the mind, most of the real-world threats that exist today will fall into one of these categories. Next, we’ll examine a few defenses that can be used to mitigate these risks.

Defense Strategies

Implementing defenses for neurosecurity threats will require a careful assessment of numerous factors depending on the scenario:

  • physical and mental characteristics of the person being defended
  • environmental factors such as EMF and other radiation
  • infrasonic and ultrasonic noise interference potential
  • prevention of spying (such as harvesting of personal data)
  • limited exposure to algorithm-driven behavioral modification
  • hardening of personal electronics such as mobile devices or BCI

Although each situation will have unique requirements and different strategies thereof, the general premise of securing any piece of hardware is extended to the brain and nervous system. This means that the brainwaves (software) must be protected in addition to physical access (securing the person from injury or death) and also inputs/outputs such as the eyes and ears or any information coming from the brain (including data read by a BCI or by use of a remote device or any other piece of equipment).


While the future of technology is full of exciting new developments, there are many risks that should be considered when building or using technology that can change human behavior.

Creating advanced products and services that are reliable and safe will involve a through investigation into the potential ways that they can be abused or misused and how negative effects on the human psyche can be mitigated to ensure safe operation without causing potential harm.