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The Economic Incentives for Sharing Security Information

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Author Info

  • Esther Gal-Or

    (Katz School, University of Pittsburgh)

  • Anindya Ghose

    (Stern School, New York University)

Abstract

Given that Information Technology (IT) security has emerged as an important issue in the last few years, the subject of security information sharing among firms, as a tool to minimize security breaches, has gained the interest of practitioners and academics. To promote the disclosure and sharing of cyber-security information among firms, the US federal government has encouraged the establishment of many industry based Information Sharing & Analysis Centers (ISACs) under Presidential Decision Directive 63. Sharing security vulnerabilities and technological solutions related to methods for preventing, detecting and correcting security breaches, is the fundamental goal of the ISACs. However, there are a number of interesting economic issues that will affect the achievement of this goal. Using game theory, we develop an analytical framework to investigate the competitive implications of sharing security information and investments in security technologies. We find that security technology investments and security information sharing act as ``strategic complements'' in equilibrium. Our results suggest that information sharing is more valuable when product substitutability is higher, implying that such sharing alliances yield greater benefits in more competitive industries. We also highlight that the benefits from such information sharing alliances increase with the size of the firm. We compare the levels of information sharing and technology investments obtained when firms behave independently (Bertrand-Nash) to those selected by an ISAC which maximizes social welfare or joint industry profits. Our results help us predict the consequences of establishing organizations such as ISACs, CERT or InfraGard by the federal government.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/io/papers/0503/0503004.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0503004.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 13 Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0503004

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 41
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: Technology Investment; Information Sharing; Security Breaches; Externality Benefit; Spillover Effect; Social Welfare;

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References

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  1. Roger B. Myerson & Mark A. Satterthwaite, 1981. "Efficient Mechanisms for Bilateral Trading," Discussion Papers 469S, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. d'Aspremont, Claude & Jacquemin, Alexis, 1988. "Cooperative and Noncooperative R&D in Duopoly with Spillovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1133-37, December.
  3. Gal-Or, Esther, 1985. "Information Sharing in Oligopoly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 329-43, March.
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  7. Roger B. Myerson, 1977. "Incentive Compatability and the Bargaining Problem," Discussion Papers 284, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Narasimhan, Chakravarthi, 1988. "Competitive Promotional Strategies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(4), pages 427-49, October.
  9. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
  10. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Gordon, Lawrence A. & Loeb, Martin P. & Lucyshyn, William, 2003. "Sharing information on computer systems security: An economic analysis," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 461-485.
  12. Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "Comparing Optima: Do Simplifying Assumptions Affect Conclusions?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 607-15, June.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. How can we co-operate to tackle phishing?
    by Tyler Moore in Light Blue Touchpaper on 2008-10-27 12:47:06
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Cited by:
  1. Huseyin Cavusoglu & Hasan Cavusoglu, 2007. "Assessing the Value of Network Security Technologies: The Impact of Configuration and Interaction on Value," Working Papers 07-19, NET Institute, revised Aug 2007.
  2. Nizovtsev, Dmitri & Thursby, Marie, 2007. "To disclose or not? An analysis of software user behavior," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 43-64, March.
  3. Fabio BISOGNI & Simona CAVALLINI & Sara DI TROCCHIO, 2011. "Cybersecurity at European Level: The Role of Information Availability," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(81), pages 105-124, 1st quart.
  4. Alfredo Garcia & Barry Horowitz, 2007. "The potential for underinvestment in internet security: implications for regulatory policy," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 37-55, February.

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