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Games 2018, 9(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9030059

Security from the Adversary’s Inertia–Controlling Convergence Speed When Playing Mixed Strategy Equilibria

1
System Security Group, Institute of Applied Informatics, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Universitätsstrasse 65-67, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria
2
Center for Digital Safety & Security, Austrian Institute of Technology, Giefinggasse 4, 1210 Vienna, Austria
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game Models for Cyber-Physical Infrastructures)
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Abstract

Game-theoretic models are a convenient tool to systematically analyze competitive situations. This makes them particularly handy in the field of security where a company or a critical infrastructure wants to defend against an attacker. When the optimal solution of the security game involves several pure strategies (i.e., the equilibrium is mixed), this may induce additional costs. Minimizing these costs can be done simultaneously with the original goal of minimizing the damage due to the attack. Existing models assume that the attacker instantly knows the action chosen by the defender (i.e., the pure strategy he is playing in the i-th round) but in real situations this may take some time. Such adversarial inertia can be exploited to gain security and save cost. To this end, we introduce the concept of information delay, which is defined as the time it takes an attacker to mount an attack. In this period it is assumed that the adversary has no information about the present state of the system, but only knows the last state before commencing the attack. Based on a Markov chain model we construct strategy policies that are cheaper in terms of maintenance (switching costs) when compared to classical approaches. The proposed approach yields slightly larger security risk but overall ensures a better performance. Furthermore, by reinvesting the saved costs in additional security measures it is possible to obtain even more security at the same overall cost. View Full-Text
Keywords: game theory; Stochastic Control; Mixed Strategy Equilibrium; Control of Expenses; switching costs; incomplete information; Bounded Rationality; information delay; Perron-Frobenius game theory; Stochastic Control; Mixed Strategy Equilibrium; Control of Expenses; switching costs; incomplete information; Bounded Rationality; information delay; Perron-Frobenius
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Wachter, J.; Rass, S.; König, S. Security from the Adversary’s Inertia–Controlling Convergence Speed When Playing Mixed Strategy Equilibria. Games 2018, 9, 59.

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