Date of Conferral



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




Diane M. Dusick


Organizations affected by data security breaches may experience reputational damage and remediation costs. Understanding the data security strategies needed to protect small businesses is vital to safeguard company data and protect consumers’ personal information. Grounded in systems theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore the strategies small business owners use to reduce data security breaches. The participants were 4 small business owners located in the southern region of the United States: 2 franchise small business owners and 2 nonfranchise small business owners. Data were collected from semistructured interviews and organizational documents. Yin’s 5-step data analysis was used to analyze the data. Two themes emerged: information assurance and third-party dependencies. A key recommendation includes small business owners implementing a contingency plan to manage a data security breach. The implications of positive social change include the potential for small business owners to develop data security strategies to protect their organizations from experiencing a data breach. Protection from data breaches can, in turn, rebuild trust with small business owners and increase spending, increasing the local community’s tax base that may be used to improve social services in the local community.

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