Barriers to Securing Data on Bluetooth-enabled Mobile Devices: A Phenomenological Study

Barriers to Securing Data on Bluetooth-enabled Mobile Devices: A Phenomenological Study

Author: 
Natasha Hines
Program of study: 
D.M./IST
Abstract: 
Company data on mobile devices is vulnerable and subject to unauthorized access. The general problem is that information security incidents compromise the integrity and authenticity of electronic data. The specific problem is that organizational security policies, procedures, and training do not adequately address the vulnerabilities associated with using mobile, Bluetooth®-enabled devices. The purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological research study is to assess the barriers, perceived by security leaders in financial services organizations, to minimizing vulnerabilities associated with Bluetooth®- enabled mobile devices. A transcendental phenomenology design allowed commonalities to emerge from the experiences of six information security leaders to reveal such barriers. The study drew on in-depth interviews conducted via phone and email. Interpretation of the results revealed four themes. This study suggests that it could require combined effort from users, financial services organizations, and manufacturers to solve the proposed problem. Thus, information from this study could lead to improvements in identifying, understanding, and thus addressing solutions to the barriers that information security leaders face in securing data on Bluetooth®-enabled mobile devices. The Mobile Device Behavioral Awareness (MDBA) model was a result of the study. The model offers a method for evaluating any feature or vulnerability associated with mobile device usage by applying continuous feedback and communication. The study further contributes by adding to the limited body of scholarly literature in the information technology field specifically information security.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this study to my godchildren, Daijha K. Mainor, Dontrell J. Hill, and Ayden J. Woods. It is also dedicated to all researchers of technology, especially those that are minorities; continue using your curiosity and inclination to explore innovative possibilities.
Acknowledgements: 
I am fortunate to have had many gentle supporters during my nine-year journey to this degree. My number one supporter was Trina Ellis. We have not had a conversation that did not involve your encouraging words. Thank you for not giving up on me; it means so much. To Claire Williams, my seventh grade English teacher. You were the first to address me as Dr. Hines. I never imagined someone else would call me that. I would like to thank my best friend, Patrice Woods. You were a constant, sometimes nauseous, reminder of the status of my study. I certainly appreciate the tough love, and would not have completed without you. To my sister and captain of my cheer squad who has always been a supporter of me, and anything that I do; I appreciate your sideline support. Thank you for always being there for me. To my Aunt Naomi and Uncle Marion. Thank you; I love you. You will soon receive a copy of my degree. Thank you to my original mentor, Dr. Jim Sullivan, who stuck with me through multiple board reviews and supported me until I was re-approved. Your encouragement helped me to get through some of the toughest times of my life. To my fan club emeritus, my father, Nathaniel Hines, and my aunt, May L. McCray. I still feel your love. You are always missed. Everything I learned from you is etched in my heart. Thank you for shaping my life. Finally, to the woman who gave me life. My zeal is a result of your faith. Mama, I hope that I have made you proud. Your dedication to my education at an early age is why I now have a terminal degree. There is nothing more I could desire or ask than your gifts of love and knowledge. From the bottom of my heart, I am eternally grateful for you.