Game Theory, Audit Logs And Corporate Governance

BeyondTrust, July 28th, 2011

Game theory and audit logs are two topics you don’t frequently see linked. But some recent research from the Center for Digital Strategies at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College linked the two topics and showed that technology can play a critical role in reinforcing the human elements of good security.

The research on Access Governance: Flexibility with Escalation and Audit used a game-theoretic approach to show that “ properly coupling information access, audit, violation penalties and rewards can enable self interested employees to access information in a timely manner, seizing business opportunities for the firm while managing security risks. “ It also suggested a critical role for technology in getting the incentives right. They found that:
“audit quality is an important element of our governance scheme” and

“escalation must be done in a way that provides an audit trail, including records of who requested it, when, what data was accessed, and what value was created (e.g., the type of transaction being performed)” .

Fair warning, it’s an academic article with some pretty dense math. But once I waded through it my reaction was cool, we can help customers do that. As shown in previous blogs on audit logs, implementing a least privilege solution will also help you achieve a more compliant IT infrastructure.