Leveraging the cybersecurity function to build influence and strategy: An empirical study of public relations professionals’ cybersecurity acumen

Abstract: This study investigated PR professionals’ attention to and perceptions of cybersecurity, and their involvement in handling cybersecurity incidents. Preliminary findings include that practitioners in the US and Canada did not significantly differ in terms of their perceptions of cybersecurity. The most consistent predictors across our research questions were prior experience with a cyber incident (i.e., whether their own organization had ever been a victim of a cyber-attack or data theft), and perceptions of the quality and power granted to the communication function within one’s own organization. These were consistent predictors across each of the four regressions run.