Date of Conferral



Doctor of Information Technology (D.I.T.)


Information Systems and Technology


Steven V. Case


Insider threat continues to pose a risk to organizations, and in some cases, the country at large. Data breach events continue to show the insider threat risk has not subsided. This qualitative case study sought to explore the data security management strategies used by database and system administrators to prevent data breaches by malicious insiders. The study population consisted of database administrators and system administrators from a government contracting agency in the northeastern region of the United States. The general systems theory, developed by Von Bertalanffy, was used as the conceptual framework for the research study. The data collection process involved interviewing database and system administrators (n = 8), organizational documents and processes (n = 6), and direct observation of a training meeting (n = 3). By using methodological triangulation and by member checking with interviews and direct observation, efforts were taken to enhance the validity of the findings of this study. Through thematic analysis, 4 major themes emerged from the study: enforcement of organizational security policy through training, use of multifaceted identity and access management techniques, use of security frameworks, and use of strong technical control operations mechanisms. The findings of this study may benefit database and system administrators by enhancing their data security management strategies to prevent data breaches by malicious insiders. Enhanced data security management strategies may contribute to social change by protecting organizational and customer data from malicious insiders that could potentially lead to espionage, identity theft, trade secrets exposure, and cyber extortion.