A Field Quasi-Experiment @ ICIS 2012

Project participant Qian Tang presented at ICIS 2012 in Orlando, FL, 14 December 2012, a paper about comparisons of eight countries, in pairs, one of each pair ranked on SpamRankings.net and the other not. Statistical results indicate the rankings changed organizational spamming behavior.

Qian Tang, Leigh Linden, John S. Quarterman, and Andrew Whinston, Reputation as Public Policy for Internet Security: A Field Quasi-Experiment,

Abstract: 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 quasi-experimental field study for eight countries through SpamRankings.net. This outgoing-spam-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.

What is ICIS 2012?

“ICIS is the major annual meeting of the Association for Information Systems (AIS), which has over 4,000 members representing universities in over 95 countries worldwide. It is the most prestigious gathering of academics and practitioners in the IS discipline, and provides a forum for networking and sharing of latest ideas and highest caliber scientific work among the IS professions. Each year, over 1,000 IS academic professions from around the world participate in the conference program, which includes about 60 sessions and 180 presentations, in addition to keynotes, CIO panels, and research panels.”