CLPC 2023: Municipal Cyber Risk Modeling Using Cryptographic Computing

2023-09-29 - 2 minutes read

Municipalities are vulnerable to cyberattacks with devastating consequences, but they lack key information to evaluate their own risk and compare their security posture to peers.

Using data from 83 municipalities collected via a cryptographically secure computation platform about their security posture, incidents, security control failures, and losses, we build data-driven cyber risk models and cyber security benchmarks for municipalities.

We produce benchmarks of the security posture in a sector, the frequency of cyber incidents, forecasted annual losses for organizations based on their defensive posture, and a weighting of cyber controls based on their individual failure rates and associated losses. Combined, these four items can help guide cyber policymaking by quantifying the cyber risk in a sector, identifying gaps that need to be addressed, prioritizing policy interventions, and tracking progress of those interventions over time. In the case of the municipalities, these newly derived risk measures highlight the need for continuous measured improvement of cybersecurity readiness, show clear areas of weakness and strength, and provide governments with some early targets for policy focus such as security education, incident response, and focusing efforts first on municipalities at the lowest security levels that have the highest risk reduction per security dollar invested.

This research was presented at the 2023 Cybersecurity Law and Policy Conference
Paper (ArXiv)

The graphic below shows the average security maturity, by control, across the 84 municipalities in the survey.