Threats from inside: Dynamic utility (Mis)alignments in an agent based model

William Casey, Jose Andre Morales, Bud Mishra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We envision a game theoretic model of an organization so as to devise new mechanisms to improve compliance and reduce various insider threats - be it intentional or unintentional, while paying proportional attention to various intertwined issues: namely in the form of deception, privacy, trust, global utilities and stability. For this purpose, we primarily rely on a realistic formulation of classical information-asymmetric signaling games, in a repeated form, while allowing the agents to dynamically vary their strategic choices as their utilities get (mis)aligned. To better understand the multifaceted security concerns in existing and emerging multi-agent interactions within an organization, we map, model and analyze various challenging scenarios of threats: namely, those by design or those by negligence. We also describe a bridge to the future by investigating the extendability of the proposed mechanisms in a specific embodiment, where available meta-data is mined to model behavioral propensities of the agents. Simulation and empirical analysis indicate promising results for this approach to deliver new mechanisms and control regimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-117
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Wireless Mobile Networks, Ubiquitous Computing, and Dependable Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2016


  • Game theory
  • Identity deception deterrence
  • Insider threat
  • Signaling games
  • Utility alignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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