CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

A Model of Trusted Computing Acceptance in Higher Education

Date of Award

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

John A. Scigliano

Committee Member

Laurie Dringus

Committee Member

Steven R. Terrell

Abstract

Virus and computer attacks are common occurrences in today's open computing platforms. As a result of these infractions, users and companies, here and abroad, have suffered untold losses and incurred tremendous costs. Until recently, the IT industry reacted to these problems merely by introducing more software-based solutions, such as updated virus definitions, whenever a computer virus attack was publicized. And yet, these attacks continued unabated.

While hardware implementations to harden and thus improve computer security were developed in the 1980s, only specialized applications users (such as the military) could afford such implementations. A group of leading technology companies including IBM, Microsoft, HP, Intel and many others, formed the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) which aimed to improve trust and security in today's open computing platforms by utilizing both software and hardware implementations. To realize this vision of trusted computing (TC), TCG began incorporating hardware through the use of a Trusted Platform Module (TPM). This low-cost device contains several built-in features that will improve security and trust in today's networked platforms. Several million of these TPMs have already been shipped and TCG is aiming for even wider deployment across all computing platforms. While trusted computing may be a viable option to improve trust and security in computing platforms, opponents cite concerns due to privacy, digital rights management (DRM), and restriction of software choices resulting from this technology. Currently there is little if any research has been done to determine whether institutions of higher education (IHEs) will adopt trusted computing. IHEs are unique entities. They promote open access to information and academic freedom. At the same time, they are required to protect the privacy and confidentiality of students, staff, and faculty. The goal of the researcher in this study was to determine the relationships between variables involving TC acceptance in higher education. In this study, the researcher integrated several influential streams of literature: the theory of reasoned action (TRA), the theory of planned behavior (TPB), the technology acceptance model (TAM), trust and risk, and trusted computing technologies.

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