Antecedents of Cybersecurity Implementation: A Study of the Cyber-Preparedness of U.K. Social Enterprises

Gareth R. T. White, Robert A. Allen, Anthony Samuel, Ahmed Abdullah, Robert J. Thomas

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The cyber-security of organisations is a subject of perennial concern as they are subject to mounting threats in an increasingly digitalised world. While commercial and charitable organizations have been the objects of cyber security research, Social Enterprises have remained unexplored. As Social Enterprises have become increasingly important features of
social and economic development, so their prominence as potential targets of cybercrime also increases.

In order to address this knowledge gap, this study examines the factors that influence the cyber-preparedness of Social Enterprises in the UK. Through the use of semi-structured interviews with Social Enterprise, these factors are found to comprise the characteristics of the enterprise, the characteristics of the enterprise management, resource constraints,
experience of cyber attacks, usage of IT, and awareness of cybersecurity schemes and resources. These insights provide valuable guidance for SE owner-managers, SE support agencies and policy-makers when considering the cyber security of SEs.

These findings are of immediate concern to social enterprises but also to other organizations that are engaged in partnerships with them as social enterprises may afford ‘gateway’ opportunities to those with malicious intent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3826-3837
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2020


  • Social Enterprise
  • Cyber Security
  • Cyber Crime


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