Abstract for: System Dynamics Modeling and Simulation of Ransomware Incidents

Ransomware threatens damaging economic, social, and other real-world consequences. This is especially grave for certain sectors of the economy that provide critical services and handle sensitive data – and may not be well-prepared to defend against hackers accessing their networks and holding data or operations at bay until a ransom is paid. We show that system dynamics modeling can be applied to baseline the ransomware ecosystem, explain past patterns, and provide insight into policy decisions. Simulation showed improvement by increasing incident reporting, reducing reporting delays, and strengthening passive defenses. We also identify suggestions for future research.