IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Network Security and Contagion

Listed author(s):
  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Azarakhsh Malekian
  • Asuman Ozdaglar

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. The general presumption in the literature, based on intuitive arguments or analysis of symmetric networks, is that because security investments create positive externalities on other agents, there will be underinvestment in security. We show that this reasoning is incomplete because of a first-order economic force: security investments are also strategic substitutes. In a general (non-symmetric) network, this implies that underinvestment by some agents will encourage overinvestment by others. We demonstrate by means of examples that there can be overinvestment by some agents and also that aggregate probabilities of infection can be lower in equilibrium compared to the social optimum. We then provide sufficient conditions for underinvestment. This requires both sufficiently convex cost functions (convexity alone is not enough) and networks that are either symmetric or locally tree-like. We also characterize the impact of network structure on equilibrium and optimal investments. Finally, we show that 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), there is an additional incentive for overinvestment: greater investment by an agent shifts the attack to other parts of the network.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19174.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19174.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Publication status: published as Acemoglu, Daron & Malekian, Azarakhsh & Ozdaglar, Asu, 2016. "Network security and contagion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 536-585.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19174
Note: IO
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Britta Hoyer & Kris De Jaegher, 2016. "Strategic Network Disruption and Defense," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(5), pages 802-830, October.
  2. S. Goyal & A. Vigier, 2013. "Attack, Defense and Contagion in Networks," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1327, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Asuman Ozdaglar & Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi, 2015. "Systemic Risk and Stability in Financial Networks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(2), pages 564-608, February.
  4. Bramoullé, Yann & Kranton, Rachel, 2007. "Risk-sharing networks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(3-4), pages 275-294.
  5. Coralio Ballester & Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2006. "Who's Who in Networks. Wanted: The Key Player," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1403-1417, 09.
  6. Vega-Redondo,Fernando, 2007. "Complex Social Networks," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521857406, October.
  7. Goldman Steven Marc & Lightwood James, 2002. "Cost Optimization in the SIS Model of Infectious Disease with Treatment," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-24, April.
  8. Vicki Bier & Santiago Oliveros & Larry Samuelson, 2007. "Choosing What to Protect: Strategic Defensive Allocation against an Unknown Attacker," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(4), pages 563-587, 08.
  9. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2009. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1239-1267.
  10. Allouch, Nizar, 2015. "On the private provision of public goods on networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 527-552.
  11. Larson, Nathan, 2011. "Network security," MPRA Paper 32822, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Sanjeev Goyal & Adrien Vigier, 2014. "Attack, Defence, and Contagion in Networks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1518-1542.
  13. Jackson, Matthew O. & Wolinsky, Asher, 1996. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 44-74, October.
  14. repec:adr:anecst:y:2007:i:86 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Yann Bramoull? & Rachel Kranton & Martin D'Amours, 2014. "Strategic Interaction and Networks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 898-930, March.
  16. Andrea Galeotti & Brian W. Rogers, 2013. "Strategic Immunization and Group Structure," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 1-32, May.
  17. Geoffard, Pierre-Yves & Philipson, Tomas, 1997. "Disease Eradication: Private versus Public Vaccination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 222-230, March.
  18. Mariagiovanna Baccara & Heski Bar-Isaac, 2008. "How to Organize Crime -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1039-1067.
  19. Benjamin Golub & Matthew O. Jackson, 2012. "How Homophily Affects the Speed of Learning and Best-Response Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1287-1338.
  20. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2000. "A Noncooperative Model of Network Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1181-1230, September.
  21. Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal & Matthew O. Jackson & Fernando Vega-Redondo & Leeat Yariv, 2010. "Network Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 218-244.
  22. Heski Bar-Isaac & Mariagiovanna Baccara, 2006. "How to Organize Crime," Working Papers 06-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  23. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2017. "The Optimal Defense of Networks of Targets," Working Papers 17-18, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  24. repec:oup:restud:v:81:y:2014:i:4:p:1518-1542. is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Vega-Redondo,Fernando, 2007. "Complex Social Networks," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521674096, October.
  26. de Meza, David & Gould, J R, 1992. "The Social Efficiency of Private Decisions to Enforce Property Rights," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 561-580, June.
  27. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2010. "The Optimal Defense of Networks of Targets," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1251, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  28. Brito, Dagobert L. & Sheshinski, Eytan & Intriligator, Michael D., 1991. "Externalities and compulsary vaccinations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 69-90, June.
  29. Bramoulle, Yann & Kranton, Rachel, 2007. "Public goods in networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 478-494, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19174. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.