Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Copenhagen Business School, Department of Informatics

No 2005-4: Understanding the Offender/Environment Dynamic for Computer Crimes

Robert Willison
Additional contact information
Robert Willison: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Howitzvej 60 , DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark

Abstract: There is currently a paucity of literature focusing on the relationship between the actions of staff members, who perpetrate some form of computer abuse, and the organisational environment in which such actions take place. A greater understanding of such a relationship may complement existing security practices by possibly highlighting new areas for safeguard implementation. To help facilitate a greater understanding of the offender/environment dynamic, this paper assesses the feasibility of applying criminological theory to the IS security context. More specifically, three theories are advanced, which focus on the offender’s behaviour in a criminal setting. Drawing on an account of the Barings Bank collapse, events highlighted in the case study are used to assess whether concepts central to the theories are supported by the data. It is noted that while one of the theories is to be found wanting in terms of conceptual sophistication, the case can be made for the further exploration of applying all three in the IS security context.

Keywords: None

JEL-codes: O30

33 pages, September 19, 2005

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