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Information Warfare: A Comparative Framework for Business Information Security



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Journal of Information Systems Security
Volume 1, Number 1 (2005)
Pages 2350
ISSN 1551-0123 (Print)
ISSN 1551-0808 (Online)
Richard Baskerville — Georgia State University, USA
Information Institute Publishing, Washington DC, USA




Fundamental assumptions and premises distinguish the prevalent thinking in business information systems security from that in information warfare. An analysis of these two paradigms may lead to improved management of information security activities. The business paradigm assumes that risks are predictable, measurable and persistent. It assumes a static relationship with safeguards and a causal structure based on variance. It draws its principles from probability theory, its strategy from quality improvement, and its organizational learning from exploitation. The warfare paradigm assumes that risks are unpredictable, not measurable, and transient. It assumes a dynamic relationship with safeguards and a causal structure based on process. It draws its principles from possibility theory, its strategy from agility theory, and its organizational learning from exploration. The shifting context of many organizations promises to increase the presence of the warfare paradigm as balanced against the business paradigm. This shift means that assumptions about the transience of risk, unpredictability of risks, and the consequential emergence of safeguards will grow. An increasing belief that the essential causal structure of security is based on process will lead to a greater perception that security events are more important than static threats; and security failures are a process failure rather than a simple failure of a security safeguard. This shift may lead to increasing use of possibility theory, agility strategies, and exploitative learning strategies.




Information Warfare, Business Information Systems Security, Security Paradigms




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