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Title

THREE ARTICLES ON THE BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS OF SECURITY INFORMATION SHARING: A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK, AN EMPIRICAL TEST AND POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

Author Alain Mermoud
Director of thesis Prof Kévin Huguenin
Co-director of thesis Prof Marcus Matthias Keupp
Summary of thesis This thesis presents a behavioral economics contribution to the security of information systems. It focuses on security information sharing (SIS) between operators of critical infrastructures, such as systemic banks, power grids, or telecommunications. SIS is an activity by which these operators exchange cybersecurity-relevant information, for instance on vulnerabilities, malwares, data breaches, etc. Such information sharing is a low-cost and efficient way by which the defenders of such infrastructures can enhance cybersecurity. However, despite this advantage, economic (dis)incentives, such as the free-rider problem, often reduce the extent to which SIS is actually used in practice. This thesis responds to this problem with three published articles. The first article sets out a theoretical framework that proposes an association between human behavior and SIS outcomes. The second article further develops and empirically tests this proposed association, using data from a self-developed psychometric survey among all participants of the Swiss Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance (MELANI). SIS is measured by a dual approach (intensity and frequency), and hypotheses on five salient factors that are likely associated with SIS outcomes (attitude, reciprocity, executional cost, reputation, trust) are tested. In the third article, policy recommendations are presented in order to reduce executional costs, which is found to be significantly and negatively associated with SIS. In conclusion, this thesis proposes multiple scientific and practical contributions. It extends the scientific literature on the economics of cybersecurity with three contributions on the human factor in SIS. In addition, regulators will find many recommendations, particularly in the area of governance, to support SIS at the legislative level. This thesis also offers many avenues for practitioners to improve the efficiency of SIS, particularly within Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) in charge of producing Cyber Threat Intelligence in order to anticipate and prevent cyberrisks.
Status finished
Administrative delay for the defence 2019
URL https://people.unil.ch/kevinhuguenin/
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/alainmermoud/
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