Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Business Administration


Management Information Systems

First Advisor

Brian J. Reithel

Second Advisor

John P. Bentley

Third Advisor

Tony Ammeter

Relational Format



Information security professionals have a unique challenge in today's connected world. They are charged with protecting digital assets from individuals, groups, and even foreign governments with little or no restrictions limiting their behavior. To be successful, security experts must have the mindset and skills of those who seek to harm their organization, but most are not alloto retaliate, in kind. Instead, they must use these skills only to predict and to prevent future attacks; thus using their technical prowess for good and not for evil. In a survey of 330 information security professionals, the data reveals six mindsets of security experts through a latent class analysis. One class emerged containing approximately 52% of the respondents, which indicates that the information security field is consistent with social identity theory and contains significant homogeneity in mindset toward securing an organization's digital assets. Additionally, personality characteristics such as Creativity, Trait Competitiveness, and Morality influence membership in one of six information security mindsets.


Emphasis: MIS


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