Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Information Systems and Technology

Advisor

Sunil Hazari

Abstract

Business organizations are faced with an enormous challenge to improve cyber security, as breeches and lapses through firewalls are increasingly commonplace. The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Information Technology (IT) staff are constantly challenged to identify and purge online and network structural weaknesses. The goal is to reduce overall business risk because unresolved risks are a constant concern to consumers who are uneasy about cyber security failures. The purpose of this general qualitative study was to examine the role and impact of Cyber Security Mentoring (CSM) from the perspectives of the workplace CISO, mentors, and protégés, who were randomly polled from various workplace settings across the United States. Mentoring allows IT staff members to learn from their CISOs and from workplace mentor mistakes and successes. Workplace IT staff are also closest to the various attack methodologies used by cyber hackers, and cohort and dyadic mentoring may provide insight into and responding to cyber-attacks and improving cyber defenses. Sixty-eight sets of respondent data relating to field experience, formal education, professional industry cyber security certifications, and mentoring were compared and examined between respondents. The goal was to determine where respondents agreed and disagreed on issues pertaining to cyber security and CSM. The findings suggested that CSM with a qualified mentor could improve cyber security in the workplace; in addition, more time must be devoted to continued professional education. Implications for positive social change included the use of CSM to enhance cyber security through the sharing of incidents, mindsets, procedures and expertise, and improvement of customer-consumer security confidence.