Shahad Abdulhalim Alashi Hanaa Ali Aldahawi


By using the research process, this study addresses the attitudes of the members of Saudi society towards using Virtual Private Network (VPN) applications and the former’s perceptions of the latter’s concept, security, and privacy, in addition to monitoring their risks to cybersecurity. The main objective of the study is to present a proposed framework for the governance of the use of VPN applications in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to strengthen cybersecurity management. To achieve the objectives of the study, the researchers used two methods: the social survey method and the content analysis method. The researchers also relied on the questionnaire tool to collect information from the 455 individuals in the study sample. The study yielded a set of findings, the most important of which are as follows: The use of free VPN applications represents 91% of the sample of the study. Also, the study revealed confusion in perceptions of the actual concept of VPN applications, which may be common among users, and showed a diversity of attitudes and motives for using VPN applications, most of which are related to entertainment. Moreover, the study showed that the study sample individuals had some knowledge about the risks of VPN applications to cybersecurity, although most of them did not use cyber protection means. The study recommended the need to organize and manage the use of VPN applications, conduct an evaluation of VPN applications available on Saudi smartphone stores, and prohibit those which contain security vulnerabilities and malware. The study proposed a framework for the governance of the use of VPN applications in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which comprised three dimensions: legal, organizational and awareness-based dimensions.


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