Human information security behaviors: Differences across geographies and cultures in a global user survey



Data Leakage Worldwide, a 2008 research study commissioned by Cisco Systems, Inc. explored the information security behaviors of information technology (IT) users and decision makers in ten countries around the world. Based upon an online survey, the results published by Cisco Systems concluded that end users engage in risky information security behaviors that negatively impacted the companies for which the worked. The survey also revealed differences in awareness of proper security practices between end users and IT decision makers, as well as a lack of effectiveness in company security policies. One important aspect of the research was the exploration of differences in information security behaviors between respondents in different countries. While the Cisco study is important, a number of questions exist regarding the methods used, data collected, and conclusions made in the survey publications. But regardless of these critiques, the study provides a useful starting point for research into human information security behaviors.