A Generalized model for understanding and education of Information and Computer Security

Visage and Olivier


Citation information

H. Visage and M. S. Olivier. “A Generalized model for understanding and education of Information and Computer Security”. In: Proceedings of the ISSA 2010 Conference. Ed. by H. S. Venter, M. Coetzee, and L. Labuschagne. (Research in progress paper, published electronically). Johannesburg, South Africa, Aug. 2010


Most of the current Information and Computer Security (ICS) literature and research, appears to be following a traditional model of first addressing the technological and technical issues, and assuming that these issues will be augmented by humans. This is evident in the proliferation of security devices and software in our daily lives. Though we still have ICS problems. However, authors like Von Solms come back to the question, though in different degrees, of whether the involvement of humans is sufficiently addressed.

The problem is that the elements of ICS are not correctly addressed in the right order to make ICS work properly.

This paper presents a model that gives an alternative perspective on the different elements of ICS. This model was developed while the author were doing ICS-related work, and it borrows insights from Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs and desires, where there are certain needs that have to be satisfied before the desires can be achieved. Using this idea that the bottom layers have to be satisfied or addressed before the upper layers should be considered, a layered pyramid has been developed as a model to be used in ICS.

It is suggested that this model is a useful tool to help managers, computer professionals and users, get a better perspective on and understanding of ICS-related issues.

Full text

A pre- or postprint of the publication is available at https://mo.co.za/open/maslow.pdf.

BibTeX reference

author={Hendrik Visage and Martin S Olivier},
title={A Generalized model for understanding and education of Information and Computer Security}, editor={Hein S Venter and Marijke Coetzee and Les Labuschagne},
booktitle={Proceedings of the ISSA 2010 Conference},
address={Johannesburg, South Africa},
note={(Research in progress paper, published electronically)} )

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