Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

David Bouvin

Abstract

Despite technological advances in the information security field, attacks by unauthorized individuals and groups continue to penetrate defenses. Due to the rapidly changing environment of the Internet, the appearance of newly developed malicious software or attack techniques accelerates while security professionals continue in a reactive posture with limited time for identifying new threats. The problem addressed in this study was the perceived value of threat intelligence as a proactive process for information security. The purpose of this study was to explore how situation awareness is enhanced by receiving advanced intelligence reports resulting in better decision-making for proper response to security threats. Using a qualitative case study methodology a purposeful sample of 13 information security professionals were individually interviewed and the data analyzed through Nvivo 11 analytical software. The research questions addressed threat intelligence and its impact on the security analystâ??s cognitive situation awareness. Analysis of the data collected indicated that threat intelligence may enhance the security analystâ??s situation awareness, as supported in the general literature. In addition, this study showed that the differences in sources or the lack of an intelligence program may have a negative impact on determining the proper security response in a timely manner. The implications for positive social change include providing leaders with greater awareness through threat intelligence of ways to minimize the effects of cyber attacks, which may result in increasing business and consumer confidence in the protection of personal and confidential information.

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