How does intellectual capital align with cyber security?

Karen Renaud, Basie von Solms, Rossouw von Solms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
480 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose – To position the preservation and protection of intellectual capital as a cyber security concern. We outline the security requirements of intellectual capital to help Boards of Directors and executive management teams to understand their responsibilities and accountabilities in this respect.

Design/Methodology/Approach – The research methodology is desk research. In other words, we gathered facts and existing research publications that helped us to define key terms, to formulate arguments to convince BoDs of the need to secure their intellectual capital, and to outline actions to be taken by BoDs to do so.

Findings – Intellectual capital, as a valuable business resource, is related to information, knowledge and cyber security. Hence, preservation thereof is also related to cyber security governance, and merits attention from boards of directors.

Implications – This paper clarifies boards of directors’ intellectual capital governance responsibilities, which encompass information, knowledge and cyber security governance.

Social Implications – If boards of directors know how to embrace their intellectual capital governance responsibilities, this will help to ensure that such intellectual capital is preserved and secured.

Practical Implications – We hope that boards of directors will benefit from our clarifications, and especially from the positioning of intellectual capital in cyber space.

Originality/Value – This paper extends a previous paper published by Von Solms and Von Solms (2018), which clarified the key terms of information and cyber security, and the governance thereof. The originality and value is the focus on the securing of intellectual capital, a topic that has not yet received a great deal of attention from cyber security researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-641
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Intellectual Capital
Issue number5
Early online date13 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2019


  • Intellectual capital
  • Intellectual capital security governance
  • Boards of directors
  • Executive management teams


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