Security in Brain-Computer Interfaces: State-of-the-Art, Opportunities, and Future Challenges

Sergio López Bernal, Alberto Huertas Celdrán, Gregorio Martínez Pérez, Michael Taynnan Barros, Sasitharan Balasubramaniam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) have significantly improved the patients' quality of life by restoring damaged hearing, sight, and movement capabilities. After evolving their application scenarios, the current trend of BCI is to enable new innovative brain-To-brain and brain-To-The-Internet communication paradigms. This technological advancement generates opportunities for attackers, since users' personal information and physical integrity could be under tremendous risk. This work presents the existing versions of the BCI life-cycle and homogenizes them in a new approach that overcomes current limitations. After that, we offer a qualitative characterization of the security attacks affecting each phase of the BCI cycle to analyze their impacts and countermeasures documented in the literature. Finally, we reflect on lessons learned, highlighting research trends and future challenges concerning security on BCIs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
JournalACM Computing Surveys
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • BCI
  • Brain-computer interfaces
  • cybersecurity
  • privacy
  • safety


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