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Optimal and Game-Theoretic Deployment of Security Investments in Interdependent Assets

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNSC,volume 9996)


We introduce a game-theoretic framework to compute optimal and strategic security investments by multiple defenders. Each defender is responsible for the security of multiple assets, with the interdependencies between the assets captured by an interdependency graph. We formulate the problem of computing the optimal defense allocation by a single defender as a convex optimization problem, and establish the existence of a pure Nash equilibrium of the game between multiple defenders. We apply our proposed framework in two case studies on interdependent SCADA networks and distributed energy resources, respectively. In particular, we investigate the efficiency loss due to decentralized defense allocations.


  • Nash Equilibrium
  • Defense Strategy
  • Social Optimum
  • Pure Nash Equilibrium
  • Generalize Nash Equilibrium

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Ashish R. Hota is supported by a grant from the Purdue Research Foundation (PRF).

Abraham A. Clements is supported by Sandia National Laboratories. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. SAND2016-8085C.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-47413-7_6
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  1. 1.

    If there are multiple entry points to the network, we can add a source node s and add edges from s to all entry points with attack probabilities equal to 1.

  2. 2.

    Interdependency graphs also capture essential features of attack graphs [3, 7] where the nodes represent intermediate steps in multi-stage attacks.


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Hota, A.R., Clements, A.A., Sundaram, S., Bagchi, S. (2016). Optimal and Game-Theoretic Deployment of Security Investments in Interdependent Assets. In: Zhu, Q., Alpcan, T., Panaousis, E., Tambe, M., Casey, W. (eds) Decision and Game Theory for Security. GameSec 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 9996. Springer, Cham.

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