The financial impacts of information systems security breaches on publicly traded companies: reactions of different sectors
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Purpose: Today, information systems and technology provides a wide set of tools for companies to increase the efficiency of their businesses. Although technology offers many benefits to businesses, it also brings risks as the information systems security breaches. Security breaches and their financial impact is a constant concern of the researchers and practitioners. This paper explores information systems breaches and their financial impacts on the publicly traded companies in different sectors. Design/methodology/approach: After a comprehensive data collection process, data from 192 events are analyzed by employing Event Study Methodology and a comparison of the results between the four highly affected sectors (Consumer Goods, Technology, Financial and Communications) is presented. The abnormal returns on the prices of stocks after the events are calculated with the Market Model. Also, the results of the Market Adjusted Model and Mean Adjusted Model are presented to support the results. Findings: While information systems security breaches have a significant negative impact on the Financials and the Technology sectors for all the event windows in the study ([−5, 0], [−5, 1], [−5, 5], and [−5, 10]), the significant negative impact is observed only on the [−5, 5] and [−5, 10] event windows for the Consumer Goods sector. No significant negative impact is observed in the Communications sector, in fact, the cumulative abnormal returns are positive for this sector. Originality/value: The contribution of this paper to provide evidence about the financial impacts of the information systems breaches for businesses in different sectors. While there are studies that have previously focused on the information systems breaches and their financial impacts on businesses, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that compares this effect between the four highly impacted sectors. With a relatively larger sample size and broader event windows than the past studies in the literature, statistical evidence is provided to managers to justify their investments in information security and build preventive measures to secure the market value of their firms.
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