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ERIC Number: ED556522
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 168
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-4707-9
An Examination of Issues Surrounding Information Security in California Colleges
Butler, Robert D.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Technological advances have provided increasing opportunities in higher education for delivering instruction and other services. However, exposure to information security attacks has been increasing as more organizations conduct their businesses online. Higher education institutions have one of the highest frequencies of security breaches as compared to other industries such as corporate and government sectors. The problem addressed in this study was an empirical research gap exploring the factors that influence or contribute to the high frequency of information security breaches in colleges and universities. Previous attempts to study the disproportionate amount of information security incidents reported in these institutions have been inconclusive. In the context of Rogers' diffusion of innovations framework, the purpose of this qualitative embedded multiple case study was to explicate information security in three California colleges through the perceptions of those who use or protect information resources at these institutions. Data collection and analysis included relevant sources such as documentation, observations, and interviews. A notable finding of the study is that the participants perceived internal users to pose a greater security threat than external hackers. The findings also suggest that the greatest challenges to information security strategies at the colleges are staffing and funding. The results support Rogers' assertions that relative advantage, compatibility, trialability, and observability are positively related to adoption rates, while complexity is negatively related to adoption. An implication of the study is that the simpler a system, technology, or procedure is for protecting information resources, the more likely it is to be adopted and used by members of the colleges. As this research also shows, effective information security strategies depend not only on technological measures but on non-technical endeavors such as adopting and enforcing compliance with formal security practices. Recommendations for future research include expanding the study using quantitative methods to develop and validate an instrument to measure and statistically test emergent themes and constructs uncovered in this study. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California