Change theme
Change theme

Cyber Risk and Security Investment

Available as: PDF

Last updated: February 2024

We develop a model in which firms invest in cybersecurity to protect themselves and their clients from cyber attacks. Since cyber security investment is unobservable, firms may signal their investment to attract clients. In equilibrium, firms under-invest in cyber security. We derive testable implications for the modality of cyber attacks, the probability of a successful attack, and client fees. To improve efficiency, a regulator can impose a minimum level of security investment or legislate consumer protection that shifts the burden of cyber attacks from clients to firms. Both regulations induce firms to invest the constrained-efficient amount in cyber security.