Using evolutionary game theory to mitigate ransomware risks

New research from Dragos shows how organizations can apply EGT to quantify security risks in complex enterprise networks, especially those integrated with operational technology.

Ransomware attacks on enterprise IT systems — especially those that are integrated with operational technology (OT) — can cause major disruptions for critical industry sectors, cautions a new cybersecurity whitepaper.


Read the full report.

Not only does ransomware create unusable file systems, but these attacks disrupt production and distribution of goods, and services and end up costing industries millions of dollars in total losses.

The whitepaper, produced by Dragos, describes how IT security leaders can apply evolutionary game theory (EGT) to the complex series of events that lead to a ransomware attack. The paper proposes a mathematical approach to predict behaviors and understand how relationships between a system’s parts give rise to its collective behaviors.

“Ransomware has become the primary attack vector for many industrial organizations during 2021,” shares the white paper, and “incidents like Colonial Pipeline, Honeywell and JB Foods showed the world that even when industrial control systems, which are integrated with OT, cause major disruptions.”

The paper asserts that the success of ransomware attacks is due in large part to a lack of understanding about how systems interact with their various components. Since there has been little research that considers ransomware from this complex systems optic, it can be difficult for leaders to make data-informed decisions about their security practices.

However, the whitepaper details the foundations and methodology for the EGT approach to help leaders quantifying cyber risk in their complex environments and ultimately prevent ransomware attacks.

Learn more about the findings and research methodology to improve risk assessments for ransomware prevention.

This article was produced by CyberScoop for, and sponsored by, Dragos.

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