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Computer Virus Propagation in a Network Organization: The Interplay between Social and Technological Networks

Authors: Cheng, Hsing Kenny - Warrington College of Business Administration, University of Florida
Guo, Hong - Warrington College of Business Administration, University of Florida
Keywords: social network analysis, interplay between social and technological networks, computer viruses
Issue Date: 2008
Series/Report no.: Net Institute Working Paper;08-24
Abstract: This paper proposes a holistic view of a network organization's computing environment to examine computer virus propagation patterns. We empirically examine a large-scale organizational network consisting of both social network and technological network. By applying information retrieval techniques, we map nodes in the social network to nodes in the technological network to construct the composite network of the organization. We apply social network analysis to study the topologies of social and technological networks in this organization. We statistically test the impact of the interplay between social and technological network on computer virus propagation using a susceptible-infective-recovered epidemic process. We find that computer viruses propagate faster but reach lower level of infection through technological network than through social network, and viruses propagate the fastest and reach the highest level of infection through the composite network. Overlooking the interplay of social network and technological network underestimates the virus propagation speed and the scale of infection.
Appears in Collections:NET Institute Working Papers Series

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