Information security management needs more holistic approach: A literature review

Zahoor Soomro, Mahmood Shah, Javed Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

313 Citations (Scopus)


Information technology has dramatically increased online business opportunities; however these oppor-tunities have also created serious risks in relation to information security. Previously, information securityissues were studied in a technological context, but growing security needs have extended researchers’attention to explore the management role in information security management. Various studies haveexplored different management roles and activities, but none has given a comprehensive picture of theseroles and activities to manage information security effectively. So it is necessary to accumulate knowledge about various managerial roles and activities from literature to enable managers to adopt these for a more holistic approach to information security management. In this paper, using a systematic literature review approach, we synthesised literature related to management’s roles in information security to explore specific managerial activities to enhance information security management. We found that numerous activities of management, particularly development and execution of information security policy, awareness, compliance training, development of effective enterprise information architecture, IT infrastructure management, business and IT alignment and human resources management, had a significant impact on the quality of management of information security. Thus, this research makes a novel contribution by arguing that a more holistic approach to information security is needed and we suggest the ways in which managers can play an effective role in information security. This research also opens up many new avenues for further research in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-25
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Issue number2
Early online date26 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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