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Dimensions of cybersecurity performance and crisis response in critical infrastructure organisations: an intellectual capital perspective

Alexeis Garcia-Perez (Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University, Coventry, UK)
Mark Paul Sallos (Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Pattanapong Tiwasing (Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University, Coventry, UK)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 13 December 2021

Issue publication date: 21 March 2023

1168

Abstract

Purpose

This research addresses the relationships between the current, dynamic organisational cyber risk climate, organisational cybersecurity performance and changes in cybersecurity investments, with an aim to address the hostile epistemic climate for intellectual capital management presented by the dynamics of cybersecurity as a phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

Expanding on the views of digital security and resilience as a knowledge problem, the research looks at cybersecurity as a critical capability within organisations, particularly relevant in critical infrastructure sectors. The problem is studied from the perspective of 400 C-level executives from critical infrastructure sectors across the UK. Data collected at the peak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a time when critical infrastructure organisations have been under a significant strain due to an increase in cybersecurity incidents, were analysed using partial least square structural equation modelling.

Findings

The research found a significant correlation between the board's perception of a change in their cybersecurity risk climate and patterns of both the development of cybersecurity management capabilities and cybersecurity investments. The authors also found that a positive correlation exists between the efforts placed by critical infrastructure organisations in cybersecurity training and the changes in investment in their cybersecurity, particularly in relation to their intellectual capital development efforts.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first paper that explores the board's perception of cybersecurity in critical infrastructure organisations both from the intellectual capital perspective and in the dynamic cyber risk climate derived from the COVID-19 crisis. The authors’ findings expand on the growing perception of cybersecurity as a knowledge problem, and thus inform future research and practice in the domain of intellectual capital management and its role in supporting the cybersecurity and digital resilience of business and society.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was conducted with funding awarded by Coventry University in 2020 for the study of the digital resilience of organisations from UK critical infrastructure sectors to inform cybersecurity management policies (ref: CBiS/QR - Digital Resilience).

Citation

Garcia-Perez, A., Sallos, M.P. and Tiwasing, P. (2023), "Dimensions of cybersecurity performance and crisis response in critical infrastructure organisations: an intellectual capital perspective", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 465-486. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIC-06-2021-0166

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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