Social Engineering and Enterprise Security: An Exploratory Qualitative Case Study

Social Engineering and Enterprise Security: An Exploratory Qualitative Case Study

Author: 
Taurus J. Jackson
Program of study: 
D.M./IST
Abstract: 
The focus of this qualitative exploratory case study was to explore present control methods and solutions used throughout technology-based, healthcare-based, and manufacturing-based organizations in Southwest Georgia to determine their effectiveness for reducing potential threats. Semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions were used to explore 30 information technology professionals' lived experiences with IT security policies and procedures. Two research questions guided the study: How important is social engineering and enterprise security to the organization? and, How are organizations evaluating and managing existing organizational solutions? Data were charted based on the amount of replies per scale and processed using NVivo10 to generate tabularized reports of distributions and trends. Several themes emerged as a result including (a) lack of education and inadequate information can affect the decision-making process, (b) response times from management is a key factor in reducing threats, (c) a sense of failure is always present, (d) failed IT policy management can increase organizational vulnerability, and (e) social engineering still has a negative stigma in the business environment. The findings suggest that although steps were made to change the perception of social engineering and enterprise security, additional work is needed to ensure employees who have information system access are aware of how social engineering and enterprise security can affect their organization productivity.
Dedication: 
I would like to dedicate my dissertation to my mom, dad, grandmother, brother, sisters, brother-in-law, nieces, and to all the youth and young adults I have mentored. To my mom and dad, you two have been my biggest supporters while on this long but worthwhile journey. You have been my backbone and given me support when I needed it the most. To my grandmother, sisters, brother-in-law, and nieces, thank you for reassuring me not to give and keep pressing forward and completing this journey especially when I wanted to give up. I want to thank God for giving me the ability to endure the many storms that occurred while on this journey. It is by his power that I was able to complete the process and trust Him every step of the way.
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to acknowledge all my past facilitators from the University of Phoenix. They laid the foundation for my doctoral journey and were supportive of all my decisions related to pursing Masters and Doctoral Degrees. To my chair, Dr. Greenfield, I would like to thank you for your support and guidance through this process. I know there were times you felt I had given up but you kept me focused on the task. To my committee members, Dr. Bunn and Dr. Fonseca-Lina, I would like to thank you for allowing me to lean on your expertise for guidance and showing me alternate ways of getting through the process. I would also like to thank a previous committee member, Dr. D’Angelo. She was there in the beginning of the process before offered another position within the University of Phoenix. Your attention to detail and APA formatting was appreciated. Finally, I would like to acknowledge a silent member of my dissertation committee, Dr. Talbert. Your advice, kind words, and constant feedback were invaluable; and I thank you.