International Journal of Policy and Governance Networks 3(1) 1-22

What Matters in Cybersecurity? The Role of Citizen Perception and Attributes

  • Michael J. Ahn
  • Tae-Hyung Park
  • Chae-Hong Lim
  • University of Massachusetts Boston, USA
  • Software Policy & Research Institute, South Korea
  • Korea University, South Korea


This study aims to investigate the extent of citizen cyber threat awareness and the factors that influence behaviors to counter these threats. Using sur-vey data conducted by the South Korean government, on a stratified sam-ple of 6,000 citizens, this study found that the general public was well aware of the presence of various cyber threats. Citizens perceived that these threats have a high likelihood of occurring to them. While this study found a positive relationship between the perception of threats and security actions, most citizens only took a few essential security measures. These findings reveal an online environment where the responsibility of online security falls chiefly on individual citizens. Ultimately, this creates a situa-tion that leaves citizens vulnerable; there is high level of cyber threat awareness, but a low level of preventative actions. This study discusses policy implications related to these findings and citizen perception of the role of government in cybersecurity.
cybersecurity, information security, privacy, citizen percep-tion, citizen security counter-measures