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Libraries and cyber security: the importance of the human factor in preventing cyber attacks

Kate-Riin Kont (Research Centre of the Internal Security Institute, Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, Tallinn, Estonia)

Library Hi Tech News

ISSN: 0741-9058

Article publication date: 11 April 2023

Issue publication date: 18 January 2024




This paper aims to investigate cyber security awareness of the staff of Estonian libraries and gives an overview why libraries could be a target of cyber attacks and why librarians need cyber security at first place.


The data used in this paper is based on a review of relevant literature to provide an overview of the concept of cyber security, and the results of the original online survey created by the paper’s author, conducted among Estonian librarians. The online questionnaire was developed using the world-recognised human aspects of information security questionnaire (HAIS-Q), which is based on the knowledge-attitudes-behaviour (KAB) methodology. A total of 388 completed questionnaires were returned from employees of academic, specialised, public and school libraries. The results are interpreted on the basis of descriptive statistics and Kruger and Kearney approach.


The final score of library employees is 86, which is classified as good, but based on the result, two focus areas need more attention than previously, which are the use of devices and prevention and handling of incidents.


The cyber behaviour of library employees has not been widely studied in the world using HAIS-Q and KAB models, and to the best of the authors’ knowledge, no research has been previously carried out in the Estonian library context into cyber security awareness.



The author wants to acknowledge the Estonian Librarians Association for helping her to divide the questionnaire as well as all respondents among her colleagues in libraries.


Kont, K.-R. (2024), "Libraries and cyber security: the importance of the human factor in preventing cyber attacks", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 11-15.



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