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Secrecy in Defensive Allocations as a Strategy for achieving more Cost-effective
Attacker Deterrence

Volume 5, Number 1, January 2009 - Paper 3  - pp. 31 - 43

NIKHIL S. DIGHE2, JUN ZHUANG1 and VICKI M. BIER2

1Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, University at Buffalo, SUNY, 403 Bell Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
2Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3234 Mechanical Engineering Building, 1513 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706, USA

(Received on September 18, 2007, revision available on September 25, 2008)


Abstract:

We discuss strategic interactions between an attacker and either centralized or decentralized defenders, and identify conditions under which centralized defender decision making is preferred. One important implication of our results is that partial secrecy about defensive allocations (disclosure of the total level of defensive investment, but secrecy about which resources are defended) can be a strategy for achieving more cost-effective attack deterrence. In particular, we show that such partial secrecy can be potentially beneficial when security investments are discrete (e.g., as in the use of air marshals to counter threats to commercial aviation).

 

References: 20

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