In this study, we use a text-based metric capturing firms’ ex-ante exposure to cybersecurity risk and document the rise of cyber threats as redesigning corporate innovation and appropriation strategies. As firms’ exposure to cybersecurity risk increases, managers’ reliance on trade secrets declines, as they seek to protect their firms’ intellectual capital under patent and intellectual property laws. In addition to this increase in patent activity, we determine that firms exposed to cyber threats file for simpler patents to accelerate their innovation cycle. Finally, we show that this strategic adjustment is not costless, as it causes firms’ returns to research and development (R&D) investments to decline significantly.
|Publication status||Submitted - 2022|