Impact of information security threats on small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic
Keywords:Cyber-attacks, cyber security, information security, information security threats, Internet, small businesses
Information is a significant asset of any organization. The increased information demand by all parties has gained attention and raised security concerns – especially in this digital era where everyone depends heavily on the Internet. The Internet and online platforms expose valuable information to various information threats. These pervasive threats compromise information privacy, safety, and security. Legitimate people and criminals compete to access information. Criminals use innovative ways to gradually increase information security threats, especially in the small business sector with only a minimal budget for proactive security measures. Due to the scarcity of academic research on information security threats for small businesses, this study presents the impact of security threats on businesses during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
A qualitative survey within the interpretive approach was used to gather data from 20 small businesses in Western Cape, South Africa, to fill this gap. The study used judgmental sampling to select research participants who are business owners. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. The results indicated the knowledge gap relating to information threats, even though most businesses are familiar with the costly and negative impact of threats on business operations, resulting in business discontinuity. However, some small business sectors showed minimal awareness a6nd understanding of information security threats, their impact, and proactive mitigation strategies. The study concluded with recommendations to protect against information security threats.
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