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Cybersecurity is a national priority in this big data era. Because of the lack of incentives and the existence of negative externality, companies often underinvest in addressing security risks and accidents, despite government and industry recommendations. In the present article, we propose a method that utilizes reputation through information disclosure to motivate companies to behave pro-socially, improving their Internet security. Using outbound spam as a proxy for Internet security, we conducted a quasiexperimental field study for eight countries through This outgoingspam-based study shows that information disclosure on outgoing spam can help reduce outgoing spam, approximately by 16 percent. This finding suggests that information disclosure can be leveraged to encourage companies to reduce security threats. It also provides support for public policies that require mandatory reporting from organizations and offers implications for evaluating and executing such policies.


Security, public policy, filed study, quasi-experiment, reputation, incentive


Computer Sciences | E-Commerce

Research Areas

Information Systems and Management


International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), December 2012, Orlando, FL

City or Country

Orlando, FL

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.