Security

Using Simulation to Investigate Virus Propagation in Computer Networks

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Executive Summary

Making the best decisions to respond to a virus threat can be critical in thwarting a quick spread and minimizing negative impacts of an attack. This paper uses simulation to compare two main prevention strategies: patching and quarantine. These strategies are borrowed from epidemiological models and are currently employed to prevent and control the spread of computer viruses throughout networks. Simulation is a powerful decision making tool which can be used to mimic the complex behavior of a spreading virus while testing a range of alternative parameters for different attack scenarios. The proposed simulation model suggests that patching is a better protection strategy than quarantine.

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