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The Intangible Cost of Information Security Breaches: A State of the Art Analysis



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Journal of Information Systems Security
Volume 11, Number 2 (2015)
Pages 111130
ISSN 1551-0123 (Print)
ISSN 1551-0808 (Online)
Griselda Sinanaj — University of Göttingen, Germany
Information Institute Publishing, Washington DC, USA




Information security breaches constitute a major concern for businesses in today’s interconnected digital economy. Practice and previous research mention that security breaches have various tangible and intangible consequences on organizations. Decreased sales and lost revenue are tangible effects, while loss of investors’ confidence, reputation damage, loss of competitiveness and loss of consumer trust are intangible costs. In contrast to the tangible costs of security breaches, the quantification of the intangible costs is not straightforward, therefore this literature review study focuses on the intangible costs of security breaches. The analysis reveals that while certain costs, such as loss of investors’ confidence, have received considerable attention in research, others, such as reputation damage or loss of consumer trust remain barely explored and require further inquiry. In addition, several studies show a lack of theory, as they do not build upon specific reference theories to address their research objectives.




Information Security Breaches, Tangible Costs, Intangible Costs, Investors' Confidence, Reputation Damage, Loss of Consumer Trust




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