Employees as a Source of Security Issues in Times of Change and Stress : A Longitudinal Examination of Employees’ Security Violations during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Journal article


Posey, Clay and Shoss, Mindy. (2023). Employees as a Source of Security Issues in Times of Change and Stress : A Longitudinal Examination of Employees’ Security Violations during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Business and Psychology. pp. 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-023-09917-4
AuthorsPosey, Clay and Shoss, Mindy
Abstract

Whether malicious or not, employees’ actions can have significant and detrimental outcomes for their organizations. Such is the case in organizational cybersecurity, as many issues stem from trusted individuals who have access to sensitive data, information, and systems. We explore the phenomenon of employees’ security violations in the context of pandemic-induced stressors among employees working from home (WFH) during a 10-day period of the COVID-19 pandemic. By assessing several categories of stressors and violation behaviors among 333 WFH employees daily for two work weeks, we discovered several stressors that significantly explained security violations during the pandemic. Within-person deviations in competing demands due to security emerged as a significant predictor of a subsequent increase in violations, and the effect of privacy invasion/monitoring concerns was marginally significant. We also found evidence that family-to-work conflict resulted in higher levels of daily security violations, but work-to-family conflict failed to exhibit any significant relationship with our outcome of interest. Unexpectedly, moderator analyses indicate that employees’ sharing of digital devices with others in the WFH environment might limit rather than exacerbate the effects of daily stressors on security violations. Thus, technology- and non-technology-related factors are associated with employees’ decisions to violate their organizations’ security expectations in a WFH environment. Our findings provide an expanded view of how stressors relate to employees’ security violations and what organizations can do to limit them in times of crises.

KeywordsEmployee security violations; Behavioral information security; Crises ; Workplace change; Employee stress ; Longitudinal approach
Year01 Jan 2023
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
Journal citationpp. 1-22
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
ISSN1573-353X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-023-09917-4
Web address (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10869-023-09917-4
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-22
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print28 Oct 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted21 Sep 2023
Deposited28 Jun 2024
Additional information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2023

Place of publicationUnited States
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