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Steffen Hessler, M.A

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Porträt Steffen Hessler

Improving the applicability of industry standards in the field of information security using linguistic concepts

This project aims to improve the comprehensibility and applicability of industry standards using ISO/IEC 27001 as an example. It is one of the most important standards in the field of information security. Due to the non-ambiguity and interpretability of the requirements, there is a risk of misunderstandings that make the implementation of the specifications more difficult. Linguistic concepts will be used to develop proposals for improvements in standardisation, application and ensuring comprehension.

Research focus

  • Forensic linguistics
  • IT security
  • Corpus linguistics
  • Variety linguistics
  • Language in the media

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2017 PhD at the research college “SecHuman – Security for People in Cyberspace
  • 2014 Research assistant at the Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 2012 Lecturer at the Ruhr University Bochum
  • 2012: Master of Arts German Studies (supplementary area of political science and media studies)
  • 2010: Bachelor of Arts German Studies/Romance Studies (Spanish)


  • Hessler, Steffen / Pottmann, Daniel (2019). I was high right away, ne. Wein getankt, woll. – An empirically supported analysis of the Dortmund regiolect with special reference to reassurance particles. In: Studia Linguistica XXXVIII. Berlin: de Gruyter. S. 33-53.
  • Bönninghoff, Benedikt / Hessler, Steffen / Kolossa, Dorothea / Nickel, Robert (2019). Explainable Authorship Verification in Social Media via Attention-based Similarity Learning. Presented at the IEEE International Conference on Big Data. Los Angeles, California (USA). 9.-12 December 2019.
  • Bönninghoff, Benedikt / Hessler, Steffen / Kolossa, Dorothea / Kucharczik, Kerstin / Nickel, Robert / Pittner, Karin (2019). Authorship analysis. Disguise strategies and possibilities of automated detection. In: Data Protection and Data Security 43rd ed. 11. Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler. S. 691-699.
  • Hessler, Steffen (2019). Security is not magic – anchoring IT security in awareness. In: Take Aware Magazine 2. pp. 12-14 https://www.take-aware-events.com/news-post/magazine-secandlife
  • Hessler, Steffen (2018). “When it comes to IT security topics, I always listen away” Achieving IT security awareness through linguistic awareness. In: Take Aware Magazine 1. pp. 20-25 https://www.take-aware-events.com/news-post/magazine-secandlife
  • Hessler, Steffen (2018). Echt ruhrdeutsch? Cult, Cliché and Language in Films of the Eastern Ruhr Area. In: Companion volume to the exhibition “Revierfolklore – Zwischen Heimatstolz und Kommerz” of the LWL Industrial Museum Zeche Hannover. Essen: Klartext. S. 129-141.
  • Hessler, Steffen (2017). Machine-learning-based Authorship Analysis. Author identification and profiling by means of linguistic features. Poster and presentation on current research at the NRW-Fortschrittskolleg SecHuman. First presentation at the first SecHuman annual symposium on 06.10.2017.
  • Hessler, Steffen / Pottmann, Daniel (2017). Features of the spoken language of the central and eastern Ruhr area. In: Language & Languages. (=Journal of the Society for Language and Languages. Vol. 47.) pp. 1-18.
  • Hessler, Steffen (2016). Temporality and the use of diminutive greetings such as hallöchen and tschüsschen in the spoken language of the Ruhr area. In: ZDL. Stuttgart: Steiner. (= Journal of Dialectology and Linguistics. Vol. 83.) pp. 1-26.
  • Hessler, Steffen / Pottmann, Daniel (2015). Transcription conventions for Ruhr German. Transcripts of the old and new corpus of the KgSR project. Online publication here
  • Hessler, Steffen (2012). Temporality in selected substandard constructions. On the use of am-progressive forms and diminutive greetings in the spoken language of the Ruhr area. Master’s thesis at the Ruhr University Bochum.


  • 01/2020 – Lecture and presentation “Forensic Linguistics – Integration into University Teaching” at the SecHuman Colloquium on 09/01/2020
  • 11/2019 – Lecture and presentation “Forensic Linguistics in Theory and Practice” in the context of the seminar “Begleitseminar Praktikum” (Supervision: Dr. Birte Schaller-Birkenhake) on 25.11.2019 at Bielefeld University
  • 10/2019 – Lecture and presentation “Linguistic Awareness in IT-Security” at the SWITCH Awareness Day in Bern on 01.10.2019
  • 10/2019 – Talk and presentation “Working for SecHuman – How to make IT-Security compatible” at the SWITCH Awareness Day on 01.10.2019 in Bern
  • 09/2019 – Talk and presentation “Deep Learning Inspired Features for Forensic Text Comparison” at the GSFL Roundtable in Graz on 08.09.2019
  • 07/2019 – Talk and presentation “Taking IT communication “outside” – comprehensibility through transmediality” at the IT Security Day of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Karlsruhe on 11.07.2019
  • 07/2019 – Lecture with discussion panel “Data collection for regiolectal corpora using the example of the spoken language of the Ruhr area” at the TU Dortmund on 10.07.2019
  • 07/2019 – Lecture and presentation “Dimensions of written language dissimulation and areas of analysis of linguistic features” at the SecHuman colloquium on 02.07.2019
  • 06/2019 – Talk and presentation “Deep Learning Inspired Linguistic Features for Authorship Verification” at the 3rd SecHuman Summer School “Brave New Word. Security for Humans in Cyberspace” on 05/06/2019
  • 03/2019 – Speech and presentation “Anchoring IT Security in Language Awareness” at the Take Aware / Sexy Security 3rd Awareness Double Conference on 07.03.2019 and 08.03.2019 in Cologne
  • 11/2018 – Keynote speech and presentation “Concealing authorship through stylised imitation (Migrant German, “Kanak Sprak”)” on the occasion of the SecHuman annual symposium on 23.11.2018
  • 11/2018 – Talk and presentation “Finding the right words – Linguistic concepts to increase security awareness” at the T.I.S.P. Communiy Meeting on 6.11. in Berlin.
  • 10/2018 – Presentation of the essay “When it comes to IT security topics, I always listen away.” Achieving IT Security Awareness through Linguistic Awareness” at the Bluff City conference on 17.10.2018 in Cologne
  • 09/2018 – Short presentation on my dissertation project and on the research group “Linguistic Imitation and Obfuscation Strategies” at the conference “Stylometry and Paraphrasing” in Heidelberg on 20.09.2018
  • 06/2018 – Talk and presentation “Feature analyses using the Forensic Information System Texts (KISTE) – author verification and debunking of obfuscation in stock exchange forums” at the NRW Progress College SecHuman on 28.06.2018
  • 06/2018 – Short presentation on the cooperation at the NRW Progress College SecHuman at the workshop “Fortschrittskollegs NRW – Wissenschaftliche Begleitung” on 21.06.2018 at Schloss Mickeln in Düsseldorf
  • 03/2018 – Lecture and presentation “Why do security experts find it so hard to be heard? Linguistic concepts to increase the transmediality of language use in IT security” in the context of “TAKE AWARE & SEXY SECURITY – the Security Awareness Conference” on 15.03.2018
  • 10/2017 – Poster presentation and short talk “Author identification and profiling by means of linguistic features” at the SecHuman annual symposium 2017 on 06.10.2017
  • 07/2017 – Talk and presentation “Author identification and unmasking of obfuscation based on Amazon reviews” at the NRW Progress College SecHuman on 21.07.2017
  • 06/2017 – Lecture and presentation “Debunking diatopic impersonation strategies on the internet with the help of regional and dialect maps” as a representative of the NRW-Fortschrittskolleg SecHuman at the 4th Research Day IT Security at the FernUniversität Hagen on 26.06.2017
  • 11/2016 – Planning, conception and implementation of the interdisciplinary workshop “Lehrveranstaltungen planem im forschenden Lernen” with presentation on the LinDa project for for the “Internal training and counselling” on 23.11.2016
  • 11/2016 – Lecture and presentation “Mediales Ruhrdeutsch als Imitationsstrategie” in the context of the NRW-Fortschrittskolleg SecHuman on 18.11.2016
  • 11/2016 – Short presentation/teaser on my planned dissertation project at the “Working meeting with the practice partners” as part of the SecHuman kick-off event at the Ruhr University Bochum on 09.11.2016
  • 10/2016 – Planning and conception of the training and workshop ‘Correct paraphrasing and qualitative formulation – academic writing for Master’s students of German studies’ from 31.10. to 4.11.2016 at Jagiel-lonen University in Krakow.
  • 07/2016 – Lecture and presentation on the results of the ‘Forschendes Lernen’ project ‘Linguistic data extraction and data analysis using the example of Ruhr German’ on 27.7.2016 at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 01/2016 – ‘Stylised Ruhr German – Analysis of Ruhr German texts on posters and other media’ on 19 January 2016 at the Ruhr University Bochum
  • 07/2015 – ‘Grammatical Analyses of Stylised Ruhr German and the Spoken Language of the Ruhr Area’ on 07 July 2015 at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 06/2015 – ‘Dr. Stratmann, Atze Schröder and Co. medial Ruhr German vs. spoken language in the Ruhr’ on 17 June 2015 at the Horst Comprehensive School in Gelsenkirchen
  • 01/2015 – ‘Ruhrdeutsch. Reality and Media Representation – Empirical Analyses’ on 06 January 2015 at the Ruhr University Bochum
  • 12/2014 – ‘Ruhrdeutsch. Real oder medial?’ on 16 December 2014 at the Elly-Heuss-Knapp-Gymnasium in Duisburg
  • 05/2014 – ‘Ruhrdeutsch. Media Representation and Reality of the Spoken Language of the Ruhr Area’ on 27 May 2014 at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum



Steffen Hessler, M.A

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Fellow at CAIS from October 2020 until March 2021