Economic Prospect Theory Applied to Cybersecurity

Wayne Patterson, Marton Gergely

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


A growing concern in the cybersecurity community evaluation of the strengths and defenses regarding cyberattacks. One approach that has not been often explored is to estimate the strength of an attack or defense in economic terms. For example, estimation of the memory required for code used for an attack, or what is equivalent, the computer time to execute an attack. We choose to express the costs in economic terms, and thus define the method of analyzing an important line of research known as “behavioral economics”, pioneered by Kahneman and Tversky, and translated into cybersecurity terms. In this way we attempt to determine a cybersecurity analog for well-known results in economic prospect theory to be able to estimate the costs of cyberattacks and defenses.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Human Factors in Cybersecurity - AHFE 2020 Virtual Conference on Human Factors in Cybersecurity
EditorsIsabella Corradini, Enrico Nardelli, Tareq Ahram
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9783030525804
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventAHFE Virtual Conference on Human Factors in Cybersecurity, 2020 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jul 16 2020Jul 20 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
Volume1219 AISC
ISSN (Print)2194-5357
ISSN (Electronic)2194-5365


ConferenceAHFE Virtual Conference on Human Factors in Cybersecurity, 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Cyberattacker
  • Cyberdefender
  • Cybersecurity
  • Kahneman-Tversky
  • Prospect theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Computer Science


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