The Economics of Cybersecurity

Economics puts the challenges facing cybersecurity into perspective better than a purely technical approach.  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. In order to solve the problems of growing vulnerability and increasing crime, policy and systems must coherently allocate responsibilities so that the parties in a position to fix problems have an incentive to do so.  In this presentation, we outline the various economic challenges plaguing cybersecurity in greater detail: misaligned incentives, information asymmetries and externalities.  We then discuss solutions that blend technical and policy aspects to overcome these barriers in the cybersecurity context.

Dr. Tyler Moore is an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at SMU, where he serves as director of the Economics and Social Sciences Program at the Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security.  His research interests include security economics, cybercrime measurement, digital currencies and cybersecurity policy.

Moore holds B.S. degrees in computer science and applied mathematics from the University of Tulsa, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Cambridge.  Previously, Moore was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University's Center for Research on Computation and Society, and the Norma Wilentz Hess Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Wellesley College.  He is a 2004 Marshall Scholar.

To learn more about Dr. Moore's research and to get involved, contact him at