Security

The Economics of Cybersecurity: Principles and Policy Options

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Executive Summary

Economics puts the challenges facing cybersecurity into perspective better than a purely technical approach does. Systems often fail because the organizations that defend them do not bear the full costs of failure. For instance, companies operating critical infrastructures have integrated control systems with the Internet to reduce near-term, measurable costs while raising the risk of catastrophic failure, whose losses will be primarily borne by society. As long as anti-virus software is left to individuals to purchase and install, there may be a less than optimal level of protection when infected machines cause trouble for other machines rather than their owners.

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