Do Students and Instructors See Cybersecurity the Same? A Comparison of Perceptions About Selected Cybersecurity Topics

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Mark Ciampa
Ray Blankenship

Abstract

Cybersecurity attacks continue to increase.  This is particularly true for attacks based on social engineering or relying on the weaknesses of individuals as a means of gathering information or crafting an attack.  Along with an increase in attacks there is likewise an increase in the number of calls for educating users about attacks and equipping them with the knowledge and skills for warding off attacks.  Many entities advocate that institutions of higher education should be responsible for providing practical, applied security awareness instruction.  This study compared student and instructor attitudes towards security to determine if there is an apathy on the part of students regarding security or if they are concerned about selected security topics, and if instructors perceive that practical, applied security instruction is a necessary component to their courses, or if security instruction belongs elsewhere.  The relationship of student attitudes towards security was compared with those of instructors over six current security topics. When comparing students to instructors to students there was no significant difference between them on the topics of using anti-virus software, using a firewall, securing wireless networks, and using spam filters.  The results seem to indicate that there is a significant difference between the perceptions of students and instructors regarding the security topics of protection from phishing and how to create a strong password.

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Ciampa, M., & Blankenship, R. (2019). Do Students and Instructors See Cybersecurity the Same? A Comparison of Perceptions About Selected Cybersecurity Topics. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 7(1), 121-135. https://doi.org/10.31686/ijier.Vol7.Iss1.1291
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