A survey of IT professionals suggested that despite technological advancement and organizational procedures to prevent cyber-attacks, users are still the weakest link in cyber security (Crossler, 2013). This suggests it is important to discover what individual differences may cause a user to be more or less vulnerable to cyber security threats. Cyber security knowledge has been shown to lead to increased learning and proactive cyber security behavior (CSB). Self-efficacy has been shown to be a strong predictor of a user’s intended behavior. Traits such as neuroticism have been shown to negatively influence cyber security knowledge and self-efficacy, which may hinder CSB. In discovering what individual traits may predict CSB, users and designers may be able to implement solutions to improve CSB. In this study, 183 undergraduate students at San José State University completed an online survey. Students completed surveys of self-efficacy in information security, and cyber security behavioral intention, as well as a personality inventory and a semantic cyber security knowledge quiz. Correlational analyses were conducted to test hypotheses related to individual traits expected to predict CSB. Results included a negative relationship between neuroticism and self-efficacy and a positive relationship between self-efficacy and CSB. Overall, the results support the conclusion that individual differences can predict self-efficacy and intention to engage in CSB. Future research is needed to investigate whether CSB is influenced by traits such as neuroticism, if CSB can be improved through video games, and which are the causal directions of these effects.
"Individual Differences in Cyber Security,"
McNair Research Journal SJSU: Vol. 15
, Article 4.