Trust Economics

Trust Economics is a collaborative project between both academic and business institutions that aims to develop a system capable of integrating both security and economic needs into the decision making process for delivering network and information security. An initial feasibility study focused on employee use of USB sticks clearly demonstrated not only the viability of the chosen methodology but the future scientific and business potential of the project as well.

Through a process of rigorous conceptual and mathematical modelling drawing on a variety of disciplines (including Economics, Mathematics, Psychology, Computer Science and Information Security), Trust Economics will produce a tool capable of informing the decision making of senior managers responsible for information and systems security. Close attention will also be paid to the role of the users in the system. The objective is to remove the problems created by a poor economic understanding of security measures and a poor organisational understanding of the attitudes of users.

To this end Trust Economics will constitute a study of the economics of information security policies, protocols, and investments. Our perspective is one of ‘systems thinking’ and, critically, our aim is to seek to integrate the following three perspectives:

  • Modelling the behaviour of the users of systems, both internal and external, in the context of security policies and protocols;
  • Mathematical modelling of systems, organizations, and networks, including the security policies and protocols which govern access;
  • Economic modelling of the costs and value of security policies and protocols

For further information, see the project web site:

This page was last modified on 06 Jan 2011.



  • HP Labs, Bristol
  • Merrill Lynch
  • University of Bath
  • University of Newcastle


2007 - 2010