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A new perspective on cyber risk

Posted 24 Apr 2019

Applying the benefit harm index, a new approach to modelling risk assessment of cyber ecosystems and their socio-economic impacts to the UK’s evolving connected and autonomous vehicle ecosystem.

With an increasingly complex and interconnected world, the perception of risk needs to be reconsidered as it applies to cyber threats. Traditional risk models rely heavily on probabilistic approaches, which demand stable distributions and almost complete knowledge of possible states.

New advances in digital technologies combining huge data, rapidly evolving automated algorithms and the prospect of a generational shift in network speed and capacity pose serious challenges to traditional risk modelling. Digital Catapult, as part of the Hermeneut project, has proposed a new approach – the benefit harm index (BHI). The index which integrates ideas from economics and complexity science into a new approach to understanding dynamic and emergent threats. The Hermeneut project is a part of the European Community’s Horizon 2020 programme.

In this white paper Digital Catapult shows how this exciting new perspective on cyber risk can be applied to the cyber ecosystems that form many of today’s critical national infrastructures (CNI). This report illustrates how these complex systems of systems exhibit emergent behaviour and require a new approach to cyber risk assessment.

This report uses the example of the UK connected autonomous vehicle (CAV) ecosystem to bring this to life. This complex system is highly interconnected, tightly coupled and provides a detailed example of how disruptions in one area can cascade easily and in unexpected ways that form systemic cyber risks to the UK economy.

This report focuses on the evolution of this example CNI ecosystem over time and uses the BHI approach to illustrate how the rate of growth of socioeconomic benefits over time can be overtaken by the rate of growth of harm associated with such systemic cyber risks.

Finally, the report introduces example approaches to mitigating emergent risks in these CNI ecosystems.

To continue reading, please click on the link below.