Director and Chief Economist
U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit
Understanding Sensor and MEMS Security from an Economic Standpoint
Economics is driving both the deployment of MEMS and sensors and their exploitation by attackers. To make sense of this field, especially from the standpoint of security, it is essential to look at what is happening in economic terms. This talk will explain how to do this.
To understand the cyber-security issues of MEMS and sensors, it is essential to look at them in economic terms. This means asking four kinds questions: 1) How are these devices being used to create value? 2) How much value would be lost if the operations of these devices were subjected cyber attacks of the various business types? 3) How and by how much could someone benefit by carrying out these attacks? 4) How and by how much can the attacker costs be increased, relative to the attacker benefits? There are practical ways to answer these questions, using a kind of economics that focuses on value, rather than price. Without this economic approach, measures to improve MEMS and sensor security will be nothing more than badly informed guesses. Approaches that are purely technical are especially likely to waste resources. Once the economic method of analysis has been applied, it offers clear guidance on what sort of security measures will be cost effective.