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Network security and contagion

Author

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  • Acemoglu, Daron
  • Malekian, Azarakhsh
  • Ozdaglar, Asu

Abstract

We develop a theoretical model of security investments in a network of interconnected agents. Network connections introduce the possibility of cascading failures due to an exogenous or endogenous attack depending on the profile of security investments by the agents. We provide a tractable decomposition of individual payoffs into an own effect and an externality, which also enables us to characterize individual investment incentives recursively (by considering the network with one agent removed at a time). Using this decomposition, we provide characterization of equilibrium and socially optimal investment levels as a function of the structure of the network, highlighting the role of a new set of network centrality measures in shaping the levels of equilibrium and optimal investments. When the attack location is endogenized (by assuming that the attacker chooses a probability distribution over the location of the attack in order to maximize damage), similar forces still operate, but now because greater investment by an agent shifts the attack to other parts of the network, the equilibrium may involve too much investment relative to the social optimum.

Suggested Citation

  • Acemoglu, Daron & Malekian, Azarakhsh & Ozdaglar, Asu, 2016. "Network security and contagion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 536-585.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:166:y:2016:i:c:p:536-585
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2016.09.009
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bastiaan Overvest & Bas Straathof, 2015. "What drives cybercrime? Empirical evidence from DDoS attacks," CPB Discussion Paper 306.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    2. Acemoglu, Daron & Makhdoumi, Ali & Malekian, Azarakhsh & Ozdaglar, Asuman, 2017. "Privacy-constrained network formation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 255-275.
    3. Cerdeiro, Diego A., 2017. "Contagion exposure and protection technology," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 230-254.
    4. Belhaj, Mohamed & Deroïan, Frédéric, 2018. "Targeting the key player: An incentive-based approach," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 57-64.
    5. Allouch, Nizar, 2017. "The cost of segregation in (social) networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 329-342.
    6. Olivier Jeanne, 2013. "Macroprudential policies in a global perspective," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov, pages 1-38.
    7. Cerdeiro, Diego & Dziubinski, Marcin & Goyal, Sanjeev, 2015. "Contagion Risk and Network Design," Climate Change and Sustainable Development 206416, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    8. Giovanni Calice & Carlo Sala & Daniele Tantari, 2020. "Contingent Convertible Bonds in Financial Networks," Papers 2009.00062, arXiv.org.
    9. Alessandro Fedele & Cristian Roner, 2020. "Dangerous Games: A Literature Review on Cybersecurity Investments," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS75, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
    10. Armando Rungi & Loredana Fattorini & Kenan Huremovic, 2020. "Measuring the Input Rank in Global Supply Networks," Papers 2001.08003, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2020.
    11. Lam, Wing Man Wynne, 2016. "Attack-prevention and damage-control investments in cybersecurity," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 42-51.
    12. Bastiaan Overvest & Bas Straathof, 2015. "What drives cybercrime? Empirical evidence from DDoS attacks," CPB Discussion Paper 306, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    13. Bravard, Christophe & Charroin, Liza & Touati, Corinne, 2017. "Optimal design and defense of networks under link attacks," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 62-79.
    14. Côme Billard, 2020. "Technology Contagion in Networks," Working Papers 2020.01, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    15. Cheung, Kam-Fung & Bell, Michael G.H., 2021. "Attacker–defender model against quantal response adversaries for cyber security in logistics management: An introductory study," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 291(2), pages 471-481.
    16. Fabrizio Adriani, 2020. "Social distance, speed of containment, and crowding in/out in a network model of contagion," Discussion Papers 2020-10, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    17. Cerdeiro, Diego A. & Dziubiński, Marcin & Goyal, Sanjeev, 2017. "Individual security, contagion, and network design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 182-226.
    18. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2018. "The Optimal Defense Of Networks Of Targets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(4), pages 2195-2211, October.
    19. Dror Y. Kenett & Sary Levy-Carciente & Adam Avakian & H. Eugene Stanley & Shlomo Havlin, 2015. "Dynamical Macroprudential Stress Testing Using Network Theory," Working Papers 15-12, Office of Financial Research, US Department of the Treasury.
    20. Nizar Allouch & Maia King, 2019. "Constrained public goods in networks," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 21(5), pages 895-902, October.
    21. Igor M Tomic & John Angelidis, 2018. "Macroprudential Policy: Resolution and Continued Challenges," International Journal of Financial Research, International Journal of Financial Research, Sciedu Press, vol. 9(4), pages 43-50, October.
    22. Corbet, Shaen & Gurdgiev, Constantin, 2019. "What the hack: Systematic risk contagion from cyber events," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    23. Jeanne, O. & Korinek, A., 2014. "Macroprudential policy beyond banking regulation," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 18, pages 163-172, April.
    24. Daron Acemoglu & Ali Makhdoumi & Azarakhsh Malekian & Asuman Ozdaglar, 2020. "Testing, Voluntary Social Distancing and the Spread of an Infection," NBER Working Papers 27483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cascades; Contagion; Network security; Security investments; Network centrality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities

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