Date of Conferral







Dr. Anthony Lolas


This mixed-methods study focused on the internal human factors responsible for data breaches that could cause adverse impacts on organizations. Based on the Swiss cheese theory, the study was designed to examine preventative measures that managers could implement to minimize potential data breaches resulting from internal employees' behaviors. The purpose of this study was to provide insight to managers about developing strategies that could prevent data breaches from cyber-threats by focusing on the specific internal human factors responsible for data breaches, the root causes, and the preventive measures that could minimize threats from internal employees. Data were collected from 10 managers and 12 employees from the business sector, and 5 government managers in Ivory Coast, Africa. The mixed methodology focused on the why and who using the phenomenological approach, consisting of a survey, face-to-face interviews using open-ended questions, and a questionnaire to extract the experiences and perceptions of the participants about preventing the adverse consequences from cyber-threats. The results indicated the importance of top managers to be committed to a coordinated, continuous effort throughout the organization to ensure cyber security awareness, training, and compliance of security policies and procedures, as well as implementing and upgrading software designed to detect and prevent data breaches both internally and externally. The findings of this study could contribute to social change by educating managers about preventing data breaches who in turn may implement information accessibility without retribution. Protecting confidential data is a major concern because one data breach could impact many people as well as jeopardize the viability of the entire organization.