Existing research on Internet routing security concentrates on technical solutions (new standards and protocols). This project is based on the premise that organizational and institutional factors - known as governance structures in institutional economics - are as important to Internet routing security as technological design. Internet routing involves decentralized decision making among tens of thousands of autonomous network operators. In this environment, an operator's decisions regarding implementation, organization and monitoring of routing policies powerfully affect the adoption and performance of security technologies.

The research bridges a gap between computer science knowledge of routing and social science theories of organization and networked governance. The interdisciplinary method combines data sets from computer science quantifying the number of routing incidents with network analysis techniques and the insights of institutional economics. Quantitative and qualitative methods are used to assess the relationship between routing security incidents and the governance structures among Internet service providers (ISPs) that affect routing. The research also tests whether deployment of new routing security technologies (e.g. Resource Public Key Infrastructure, RPKI) actually affect the quantity and severity of routing incidents.

Understanding correlations between governance structures and routing security is expected to yield important practical insights for network operators and policy makers in cyber-security. By compiling and rendering usable multiple data sources on routing incidents, the project will contribute to the infrastructure of social science research in cybersecurity. The PI will disseminate the data resources and research results to a broad constituency of academics, policy makers, network operators, industry practitioners, and advocacy groups.

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Syracuse University
United States
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