Incentivizing improved cybersecurity: a study of security as a public good


Henry Booker Conference Room - Jacobs Hall, Room 2512

Sponsored By:
Prof. Tara Javidi

Parinaz Naghizadeh
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Michigan


The security decisions of users interacting over a network, such as the Internet, can affect one another. For example, less protected computers may be compromised and used to launch attacks on other entities. As a result, security can be viewed as a public good. Provision of public goods by self-interested users is known to be inefficient, especially due to users' free-riding behavior. In this talk, I will present a game-theoretic approach for understating individual users' decisions towards security investments, and discuss the design of appropriate incentive mechanisms to influence users' actions. I will first illustrate the use of cyber-insurance as an incentive mechanism, and talk about the challenges it faces in inducing socially desirable behavior by users. I will then discuss methods for improving cyber security through increased information sharing among firms. I will also describe how predictive analytics based on machine learning can be used as a tool for improving the design of cyber-insurance contracts, and also for regulating information sharing agreements. 

Speaker Bio:
Parinaz is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan. Her research interests include game theory, mechanism design, and the study of social and economic networks, with applications to problems in cyber security. She received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in 2016, advised by Prof. Mingyan Liu. She received M.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics, both from the University of Michigan, in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and a B.Sc. in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Iran, in 2010. She was a recipient of the Barbour scholarship in the 2014-15 academic year.

Tara Javidi <>