Towards a framework for the potential cyber-terrorist threat to critical national infrastructure: A quantitative study

Abdulrahman Alqahtani (School of Politics, Philosophy & International Studies, Hull University, Hull, United Kingdom.)

Information and Computer Security

ISSN: 2056-4961

Publication date: 9 November 2015



The main purpose of this research is to produce the most accurate theoretical framework of the potential threat of cyberterrorism to the national security, compared to conventional terrorism. So it aims to identify the theoretical framework that best explains the threat of cyberterrorism and conventional terrorism to national security derived from empirical data, using grounded theory, and to validate the developed grounded theory statistically by quantitative data.


This paper presents the results of the quantitative study survey. It provides in the beginning basic information about the data. To purify the data, reliability and exploratory factor analysis, as well as confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), were performed. Then, structural equation modelling was utilised to test the final model of the theory and to assess the overall goodness-of-fit between the proposed model and the collected data set.


The first study, as a qualitative exploratory study, gives a rich data set that provides the foundation of the development of the second study, as a quantitative confirmatory study. In the researcher’s previous qualitative study, it provides a better theoretical understanding of the potential threat of cyber and conventional terrorism to Saudi national security. Also, it provides the development of the grounded theory of the study (Figure 1). It also has led to the development of the conceptual framework and the hypotheses for the second phase of the study (i.e. survey).


It is original study based on empirical data collected from Saudi military and security officials and experts in the critical infrastructures.



Alqahtani, A. (2015), "Towards a framework for the potential cyber-terrorist threat to critical national infrastructure: A quantitative study", Information and Computer Security, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 532-569.

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