Its Not All About the Money: Self-efficacy and Motivation in Defensive and Offensive Cyber Security Professionals

Hodges, Duncan and Buckley, Oliver (2017) Its Not All About the Money: Self-efficacy and Motivation in Defensive and Offensive Cyber Security Professionals. In: International Conference on Human Aspects of Information Security, Privacy, and Trust (HAS). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 10292 . Springer, pp. 494-506. ISBN 978-3-319-58459-1

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Two important factors that define how humans go about performing tasks are self-efficacy and motivation. Through a better understanding of these factors, and how they are displayed by professionals in different roles within the cyber security discipline we can start to explore better ways to exploit the human capability within our cyber security. From our study of 137 cyber security professionals we found that those in attack-focussed roles displayed significantly higher-levels of self-efficacy than those in defensive-focussed roles. We also found those in attack-focussed roles demonstrated significantly higher levels of intrinsic motivation and significantly lower levels of externally regulated motivation. It should be noted we found no correlation with age or experience with either the focus of the practitioners task (whether offensive or defensive focussed) or their levels of motivation or self-efficacy. These striking findings further highlight the differences between those performing tasks that are self-described as offensive and those that are self-described as defensive. This also demonstrates the asymmetry that has long existed in cyber security from both a technical and opportunity viewpoint also exists in the human dimension.

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Computing Sciences
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2018 13:30
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2020 00:31
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-58460-7_34

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