Cyber-attacks and IT Innovations in the Age of Insecurity

Project: Research

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We are in the midst of unprecedented changes following the digitization of economies.Owing to the heavy dependence of business transactions and operations on informationtechnology (IT), safeguarding information technology assets is becoming a primary taskfor many companies and is being recognized increasingly as a critical factor affectingnational security interests. However, while the main focus has been on the negativeimpact of cyber-attacks, one of the less discussed effects of cyber-attacks is its abilityto stimulate IT investments and, as a result, IT innovations. The project proposed here isprompted by the observation that previous studies had focused on the former whileignoring the latter.In this study, we seek to collect cyber-attacks data and IT innovation data to study theimpact of cyber-attacks on innovation. This question is important because cyber-attackshave so far been viewed mainly in negative terms. A less explored feature concerns theirpositive social impact by motivating innovations in information systems. For instance,although they have been under constant cyber-threat, online payment systems continueto evolve and become more practical and safe. Hence, we will first study whether cyberattacksindeed impact IT innovation. Next we will empirically investigate the neteconomic effects of cyber-attacks on economic indicators such as stock market sectorindices, GDP, etc.Literature has traditionally focused on the impact of information technology assets onmarket values. Our study will take a different route by examining the role of cyber-attackson IT innovations; thus introducing yet another perspective into research on ITinnovation. We plan to make use of sector-level macro-economic figures to furtherunderstand how national IT characteristics affect cyber-attack phenomena. The findingsare likely to shed new light on aggregate cyber-attack phenomena; this could lead touseful suggestions for national policymakers as they reformulate national IT and cyber-protectionpolicies.


Project number9042264
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/10/1526/03/19

    Research areas

  • Information security ,Cyber-attacks,Information Systems Breach,IT innovations,