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Pricing and Investments in Internet Security: A Cyber-Insurance Perspective

ABSTRACT

Internet users such as individuals and organizations are subject to different types of epidemic risks such as worms, viruses, spams, and botnets. To reduce the probability of risk, an Internet user generally invests in traditional security mechanisms like anti-virus and anti-spam software, sometimes also known as self-defense mechanisms. However, such software does not completely eliminate risk. Recent works have considered the problem of residual risk elimination by proposing the idea of cyber-insurance. In this regard, an important research problem is the analysis of optimal user self-defense investments and cyber-insurance contracts under the Internet environment. In this paper, we investigate two problems and their relationship: 1) analyzing optimal self-defense investments in the Internet, under optimal cyber-insurance coverage, where optimality is an insurer objective and 2) designing optimal cyber-insurance contracts for Internet users, where a contract is a (premium, coverage) pair.