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Investigation of factors influencing cybersecurity decision making in Irish SME's from a senior manager/owner perspective

Whitehead, Gerard (2020) Investigation of factors influencing cybersecurity decision making in Irish SME's from a senior manager/owner perspective. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Cybercrime is one of the biggest threats to modern businesses. The threat is particularly poignant for SMEs with limited budgets and resources to protect themselves. The inadequate cyber security protection in SMEs has led to an increasing number of attacks and subsequent cyber security incidents. SMEs need to increase investment in this area but have to balance these with other business priorities. The purpose of this research is to analyse the perceptions of senior managers/owners of Irish SMEs to understand the factors that influence decision making related to additional cyber security investment. Understanding these factors will assist when forming governance and standards policies in the future. A qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews was chosen to best answer the research question and accomplish all research objectives. Five participants were selected using purposive sampling that fit the outlined criteria. A conceptual model derived from existing literature consisted of 9 themes forming the basis of questions for semi-structured interviews. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis and findings were critically assessed in the context of extant literature. The six factors influencing cybersecurity investment decisions in Irish SMEs were identified as (i) cost, (ii) company reputation, (iii) monetary loss, (iv) awareness, (v) regulation and (vi) expertise. Critically, this research showed that SMEs acknowledge the need to invest and are willing, but more guidance is required to ensure investment targets the areas most impactful for the business.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
T Technology > T Technology (General) > Information Technology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Small Business Sector
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Business Administration
Depositing User: Dan English
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2021 11:18
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2021 11:18
URI: http://norma.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/4804

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