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Can we sell security like soap?: A new approach to behaviour change

Many organisations run security awareness programmes with the aim of improving end user behaviours around information security. Yet behavioural research tells us that raising awareness will not necessarily lead to behaviour change. In this paper we examine the challenge of changing end user behaviour and put forward social marketing as a new paradigm. Social marketing is a proven framework for achieving behavioural change and has traditionally been used in health care interventions, although there is an increasing recognition that it could be successfully applied to a broader range of behaviour change issues. It has yet to be applied however, to information security in an organizational context. We explore the social marketing framework in relation to information security behavioural change and highlight the key challenges that this approach poses for information security managers. We conclude with suggestions for future research.


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