Get Your Workload in Order: Game Theoretic Prioritization of Database Auditing

22 Jan 2018  ·  Chao Yan, Bo Li, Yevgeniy Vorobeychik, Aron Laszka, Daniel Fabbri, Bradley Malin ·

For enhancing the privacy protections of databases, where the increasing amount of detailed personal data is stored and processed, multiple mechanisms have been developed, such as audit logging and alert triggers, which notify administrators about suspicious activities; however, the two main limitations in common are: 1) the volume of such alerts is often substantially greater than the capabilities of resource-constrained organizations, and 2) strategic attackers may disguise their actions or carefully choosing which records they touch, making incompetent the statistical detection models. For solving them, we introduce a novel approach to database auditing that explicitly accounts for adversarial behavior by 1) prioritizing the order in which types of alerts are investigated and 2) providing an upper bound on how much resource to allocate for each type. We model the interaction between a database auditor and potential attackers as a Stackelberg game in which the auditor chooses an auditing policy and attackers choose which records to target. A corresponding approach combining linear programming, column generation, and heuristic search is proposed to derive an auditing policy. For testing the policy-searching performance, a publicly available credit card application dataset are adopted, on which it shows that our methods produce high-quality mixed strategies as database audit policies, and our general approach significantly outperforms non-game-theoretic baselines.

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