Ranjan Pal

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Ranjan Pal

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Ranjan Pal (a PhD in Computer Science) is a Research Scientist in the MIT Sloan School of Management who broadly conducts and leads research on cyber risk/resilience management through Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan (CAMS) using the interplay of computer science and decision science. He is also currently an invited member of the systems cyber-resilience working group (WG) at the World Economic Forum. Ranjan's research interfaces the managerial aspects of cyber risk/resilience management with its strategic, operational, and technical aspects.

Research Interest and Specialization: Ranjan's primary research interest lies in the broad domain of cyber risk/resilience management in IT/IoT-driven information systems. He specializes in the design and analysis of principled, state-of-the-art interdisciplinary solutions to 'burning' strategic and governance issues hampering cyber-security improvement, using tools from decision science, algorithmics, economics, and applied probability.

Global Impact of Research in Industry: Ranjan's most industry-impactful research works are in the field of cyber-insurance as a cyber-security improving tool. He has developed mathematical theorems over the years provably showcasing cyber-insurance market trends that were shown to be true in the real corporate world comprising millions of enterprises who buy cyber-insurance. Ranjan was among the first researchers in the world to demonstrate through a series of mathematical theorems that commercial cyber-insurance products could improve enterprise cyber-security as a governance solution, but would not be able to achieve scaled-up competitive markets, unless regulatory mandated. These mathematical results have been practically validated repeatedly over the years in the business world which sees a relatively sparse low-capital cyber-insurance market despite at least five million corporations around the world buying cyber-insurance. Ranjan was also the first in the world to prove that designing scalable cyber (re-)insurance insurance markets for IT/OT-driven enterprises is a computationally difficult, i.e., an NP-Hard problem, thereby computationally settling the decade-long open question: why are cyber-insurance markets low on capital? This was preceded by his mathematical proof that cyber-risk statistics that enterprises are usually exposed to do will not lead to scalable cyber (re-)insurance markets, thereby statistically settling the decade-long open question: why are cyber-insurance markets low on capital? He has provided the first proof that the use of insurance-linked securities (ILS) such as financial catastrophe bonds will relatively boost significantly security improving cyber (re-)insurance markets that are low on premium capital. Surprisingly and coincidentally, the first such commercial ILS solution was introduced by the insurance giant Beazley in 2023.

Publishing Venues: Ranjan has published around 75 research articles in premier academic and global media outlets that include ACM/IEEE/AIS/Elsevier venues and Forbes, The Financial Times, The Economic Times, The Financial Express, and The Times of India. Simply put, much of Ranjan's cyber-risk management research can be viewed as 'Wall Street' stuff of the cyber world. 

Prior to joining MIT, Ranjan was on the faculty of the University of Michigan, was a visiting postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge, held invited summer research/faculty positions at Princeton University, Indian School of Business, Tsinghua University, University of Michigan, Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad/Calcutta), and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. He was a PhD student at USC. 

Ranjan also casually dabbles in the performance management of distributed IT systems. He is an associate editor of the ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems and has consulted for the cyber assurance industry.

Personal Website:The Cyberspace of Ranjan Pal | Ranjan Pal@MIT Sloan