Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Franz M. Gottleib


Small business leaders face a wide range of cybersecurity threats. Ransomware is a specific cybersecurity threat that cybercriminals can use to deny small business leaders’ access to data in exchange for a ransom payment. Grounded in routine activity conceptual framework, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore effective strategies small business leaders use to address ransomware. Data were collected from 5 leaders of small businesses in the southeast region of the United States. Data sources included interviews and archival documents. Data were analyzed using Yin’s 5 step process. The analysis revealed 3 primary themes: ransomware strategy, support structure, and cybersecurity awareness. Managers and leaders of small businesses could potentially benefit from this research by applying strategies that emerged from the identified themes to prevent victimization from ransomware. The implications for positive social change include the potential to support the local economy and to prevent and mitigate the spread of ransomware to protect confidential and sensitive consumer information.