Date of Award

Spring 3-23-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Operations (PhDCO)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Pam Rowland

Second Advisor

Shengjie Xu

Third Advisor

Christopher Olson


There is a wide range of concerns and challenges related to stored data security – which range from privacy and management to operations readiness, These challenges span from financial to personal and public impact. With an abundance of regulations for the enforcement of data security and emerging requirements proposed every year, organizations cannot avoid the legal or social implications of inadequate data protection. Today, public spotlight and awareness are challenging organizations to enhance how data is protected more than at any other time. For this reason, organizations have made significant efforts to improve security.

When looking at precautions or changes, the factors considered are costs associated with such action, a potential consequence of not acting, impact on users, the effort required, and the scope. For this reason, leaders need to make the hard decisions of which risks they can live with and which need to be reduced because it is unrealistic to think that data security can be guaranteed. However, it is essential to have physical, administrative, and technical controls to mitigate data risks. Data protection regulations define requirements, create procedures to identify the associated risks, determine the extent of the impact, and identify what precautions should be taken.

This dissertation defined seven areas for consideration related to stored data security. The research facilitated developing a measurement tool to gather and analyze the knowledge and opinions of working professionals within the United States. The study was performed from July to October 2020, which resulted in a quantitative data sample used to analyze the effectiveness of legal regulations and social consequences for securing data.