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An Investigation of Roles, Backgrounds, Knowledge, and Skills of U.S. Government Security Awareness Professionals

Published

Author(s)

Julie Haney, Jody Jacobs, Susanne M. Furman

Abstract

Security awareness professionals are tasked with implementing security awareness programs within their organizations to assist employees in recognizing and responding to security issues. Prior industry-focused surveys and research studies identified desired skills for these professionals, finding that many are ill-prepared due to gaps in professional skills (e.g., communication, interpersonal) and a lack of recognition of the unique awareness role. However, it is unclear if these findings are similar for security awareness professionals in the United States (U.S.) federal government sector in which awareness plays an important part in teaching employees how to protect sensitive national and citizen data. To identify the current roles, professional backgrounds, and desired knowledge and skills for government security awareness professionals, we conducted a two-phase research study that leveraged focus group and survey methodologies. Insights gained from these results can inform guidance and other initiatives to aid organizations in building security awareness teams with the appropriate competencies. While focused on the U.S. government, findings may also have implications for other sectors and countries.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the ACM SIGMIS Computers and People Research Conference 2022
Conference Dates
June 2-4, 2022
Conference Location
Atlanta, GA, US
Conference Title
ACM SIGMIS Computers and People Research Conference 2022

Keywords

cybersecurity awareness training, work roles, skills, knowledge

Citation

Haney, J. , Jacobs, J. and Furman, S. (2022), An Investigation of Roles, Backgrounds, Knowledge, and Skills of U.S. Government Security Awareness Professionals, Proceedings of the ACM SIGMIS Computers and People Research Conference 2022, Atlanta, GA, US, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=934639 (Accessed April 15, 2024)
Created June 4, 2022, Updated November 29, 2022