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Purdue University - Discovery Park
Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

Behavioral and Computational Aspects of Network Security Games

Ashish Hota - Purdue University

Feb 15, 2017

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Abstract

In this talk, we will leverage the framework of game theory to understand the effects of decentralized decision-making on the robustness and security of large-scale networked systems.

In the first part of this talk, we will consider a setting where each node in the network is an independent decision maker who wants to protect itself, and the probability of attack on a node is a function of the security investment by the node and its immediate neighbors in the network. Accordingly, the security investment of a node depends on its position in the network and its perception of attack probability. We will investigate the impact of certain empirically established behavioral biases, that affect how users perceive probabilities of risky outcomes, on the security investment decisions of the nodes. We will further characterize the structures of networks that maximize and minimize the expected fraction of nodes that are successfully attacked at the Nash equilibrium of the game, respectively.

In the second part of the talk, we will consider a setting where each decision maker is responsible for defending multiple nodes in the network, and strategic attacker(s) launch multi-stage attacks that spread through the network. We will show that the problem of computing the best response for a defender can be formulated as a convex optimization problem. We will then illustrate the application of this framework in problems that arise in networked cyber-physical systems.

About the Speaker

Ashish R. Hota is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. He received B.Tech and M.Tech degrees in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur in 2012. His research interests are in the areas of game theory, network economics, behavioral decision theory, security of networked systems and queueing games.

Unless otherwise noted, the security seminar is held on Wednesdays at 4:30P.M. STEW G52, West Lafayette Campus. More information...

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