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Date of Award

4-6-2014

Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

School of Information Technology: Information Systems

First Advisor

Glen Sagers

Abstract

Agriculture is the backbone of the economy in many parts of the United States. It feeds livestock and people around the world on a daily basis. From a financial point of view, the industry produces billions of dollars in revenue for the United States economy. Technology has expanded rapidly to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of agricultural production. Protecting farm and agribusiness technology from the threat of cyber-attacks is critically important to ensuring farm business continuity.

The goal of this thesis was to survey farmers and agribusiness owners about their perceptions of cyber security, and how age, gender, and education might affect those perceptions. Using the Health Belief Model as a framework, the survey measured the constructs of perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits, barriers, self-efficacy and cues to action. In addition to the framework, levels of previous cyber-crime victimization and technology implementation were measured.

The results of this survey demonstrated that perceived susceptibility to cyber-attacks and the perceived benefits of protective technology are related to an individual's choice to implement cyber security technology. Over half of the respondents had been victims of a computer security incident, demonstrating that even individuals working in agriculture can be impacted by computer crime incidents. This project deepens the understanding of how individuals react to known threats, and what motivates them to adopt protection technologies.

Comments

Imported from ProQuest Geil_ilstu_0092N_10208.pdf

Page Count

82

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