SEI Insights

Insider Threat Blog

Real-World Work Combating Insider Threats

Hello, I'm David Mundie, a CERT cybersecurity researcher. This post is about the research CERT is doing on unintentional insider threats, in particular social engineering.

Earlier this year, the CERT Division's Insider Threat Team published the report Unintentional Insider Threats: A Foundational Study that documents results of a study of unintentional insider threats (UIT), which was sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security Federal Network Resilience (FNR). Following the success of that report, we on the Insider Threat Team continued our work on UIT, focusing on one aspect of the threat: social engineering.

Hi, this is George J. Silowash, Cybersecurity Threat and Incident Analyst for the CERT Division. Organizations may be searching for products that address insider threats but have no real way of knowing if a product will meet their needs. In the recently released report, Insider Threat Attributes and Mitigation Strategies, I explore the top seven attributes that insider threat cases have according to our database of over 700 insider incidents. These attributes can be used to develop characteristics that insider threat products should possess.

This is Dave Mundie, senior member of the technical staff in the CERT Division.

Previous SEI blog posts ("Protecting Against Insider Threats with Enterprise Architecture Patterns" and "Effectiveness of a Pattern for Preventing Theft by Insiders") have described the the pattern language for insider threat that my colleague Andrew Moore and I have been developing. This pattern language consists of 26 mitigation patterns derived from the examination of more than 700 insider threat cases in our database. The goal of our research is to help organizations balance the cost of security controls with the risk of insider compromise.

My most recent blog post is the third installment in the series, and describes our efforts to organize our pattern language in a way that makes it as usable as possible. I discuss our explorations into categorization and classification systems, and outline our rationale for moving away from a rigid, top-down, linear hierarchical categorization system. Please read the post, and let me know if you have comments or suggestions.

Hello, I'm David Mundie, a CERT cybersecurity researcher. This post is about the research CERT is doing on the unintentional insider threat. Organizations often suffer from individuals who have no ill will or malicious motivation, but whose actions cause harm. The CERT Insider Threat Center conducts work, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Network Resiliency Division, that examines such cases. We call this category of individuals the "unintentional insider threat" (UIT).

Hi, this is Randy Trzeciak, Technical Manager of the Enterprise Threat and Vulnerability Management team in the CERT Division. On Thursday, August 8, the SEI is hosting the webinar Managing the Insider Threat: What Every Organization Should Know. Join me and my colleagues as we discuss insider threat challenges that organizations face today.

Hello, this is George J. Silowash, Cybersecurity Threat and Incident Analyst for the CERT Division of the Software Engineering Institute. Earlier this year, we released the report Insider Threat Control: Understanding Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Detection by Correlating Events from Multiple Sources. In this report, we discuss the challenges universal serial bus (USB) flash drives present to organizations, especially those concerned with protecting their intellectual property.

Hello, this is David Mundie, a Senior Member of the Technical Staff in the CERT Program. The term "science of cybersecurity" is a popular one in our community these days. For some time now I have advocated ontologies and controlled vocabularies as an approach to building such a science. I am fond of citing the conclusion of the Jason Report, that the most important step towards a "science of cybersecurity "would be the construction of a common language and a set of basic concepts about which the security community can develop a shared understanding," or in other words, an ontology.