Information security management : a case study of an information security culture

Alfawaz, Salahuddin M. (2011) Information security management : a case study of an information security culture. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis argues that in order to establish a sound information security culture it is necessary to look at organisation's information security systems in a socio- technical context. The motivation for this research stems from the continuing concern of ineffective information security in organisations, leading to potentially significant monetary losses. It is important to address both technical and non- technical aspects when dealing with information security management. Culture has been identified as an underlying determinant of individuals' behaviour and this extends to information security culture, particularly in developing countries. This research investigates information security culture in the Saudi Arabia context. The theoretical foundation for the study is based on organisational and national culture theories. A conceptual framework for this study was constructed based on Peterson and Smith's (1997) model of national culture. This framework guides the study of national, organisational and technological values and their relationships to the development of information security culture. Further, the study seeks to better understand how these values might affect the development and deployment of an organisation's information security culture. Drawing on evidence from three exploratory case studies, an emergent conceptual framework was developed from the traditional human behaviour and the social environment perspectives used in social work, This framework contributes to in- formation security management by identifying behaviours related to four modes of information security practice. These modes provide a sound basis that can be used to evaluate individual organisational members' behaviour and the adequacy of ex- isting security measures. The results confirm the plausibility of the four modes of practice. Furthermore, a final framework was developed by integrating the four modes framework into the research framework. The outcomes of the three case stud- ies demonstrate that some of the national, organisational and technological values have clear impacts on the development and deployment of organisations' informa- tion security culture. This research, by providing an understanding the in uence of national, organi- sational and technological values on individuals' information security behaviour, contributes to building a theory of information security culture development within an organisational context. The research reports on the development of an inte- grated information security culture model that highlights recommendations for developing an information security culture. The research framework, introduced by this research, is put forward as a robust starting point for further related work in this area.

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ID Code: 41777
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Nelson, Karen, Mohannak, Kavoos, & Timbrell, Gregory
Keywords: information security, management, culture
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 23 May 2011 06:41
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 20:02

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