Environmental Uncertainty and End-User Security Behaviour: A Study During the COVID-19 Pandemic
This dataset contains PLS and Bootstrapping Data.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced individuals to adopt online applications and technologies, as well as remote working patterns. However, with changes in technology and working patterns, new vulnerabilities are likely to arise. Cybersecurity threats have rapidly evolved to exploit uncertainty during the pandemic, and users need to apply careful judgment and vigilance to avoid becoming the victim of a cyber-attack. This paper explores the factors that motivate security behaviour, considering the current environmental uncertainty. An adapted model, primarily based on the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), is proposed and evaluated using data collected from an online survey of 222 respondents from a Higher Education institution. Data analysis was performed using Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM). The results confirm the applicability of PMT in the security context. Respondents’ behavioural intention, perceived threat vulnerability, response cost, response efficacy, security habits, and subjective norm predicted self-reported security behaviour. In contrast, environmental uncertainty, attitude towards policy compliance, self-efficacy and perceived threat severity did not significantly impact behavioural intention. The results show that respondents were able to cope with environmental uncertainty and maintain security behaviour.