Three researchers from Montpellier Business School were honoured at the last conference of the Association for Information and Management (AIM)

Doctors Yves Barlette, Katherine Gundolf and Annabelle Jaouen, researchers from Montpellier Business School received the 2015 CIEMS-AIM [Centre for Economic Intelligence and Strategic Management-Association for Information and Management] prize for their article “Toward a better understanding of SMB CEOs' Information Security Behaviour : Insights from Threat or Coping appraisal” during the AIM conference on 21 May in Rabat (Morocco). Their article will be published shortly in the international scientific review “Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business”.

“Within the context of the use of and extensive interest in new technologies by SMEs such as large companies (sensitive files, CRM, Cloud computing etc.) the objective of our study was to better understand the behaviour of SME directors as regards to the protection of their information and more generally all of their data. From work carried out internationally on the subject, we created then administered an investigation with a panel of 9,500 SME directors, inviting them to reply to various questions on, for example, their perception of the degree of vulnerability of their information, on the potential impact of a disaster in the area, on their capacity to put in place essential security measures and on their perception of costs pertaining to the security of their data” stated Dr Yves Barlette.

This study has been awarded for two main reasons. “First of all, it is the first scientific study which is focused on SME directors, often left to face these problems of security and data protection alone. Finally, it demonstrates that the behaviour of the SME directors on this subject is very different to that of the participants of the large companies. Essentially, the SME directors are, above all, preoccupied by the effectiveness of the measures to be put in place. Surprisingly, the cost of these measures is not an sticking point for them, even though their budgets are more limited. The focus to be adopted by solutions suppliers is that they must therefore supply more evidence of efficiency to this target customer” stated Dr Annabelle Jaouen.

The three researchers of Montpellier Business School thanked all of the directors, designers and graduates who responded to this investigation, testifying not only to the interest of the subject relating to strategic data protection of all businesses, whatever their size, but also and especially to the evident overlapping of current knowledge in management sciences with the needs of businesses.

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