Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sniffing Out Insider Threats To Security

Date:
February 20, 2008
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
A rapid way to spot insider threats from individuals within an organization such as a multinational company or military installation is reported in the International Journal of Security and Networks. The technology uses data mining techniques to scour email and build up a picture of social network interactions. The technology could prevent serious security breaches, sabotage, and even terrorist activity.

A rapid way to spot insider threats from individuals within an organization such as a multinational company or military installation is reported in the current issue of the International Journal of Security and Networks. The technology uses data mining techniques to scour email and build up a picture of social network interactions. The technology could prevent serious security breaches, sabotage, and even terrorist activity.

Gilbert Peterson and colleagues at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright Patterson AFB, in Ohio are developing technology that could help any organization sniff out insider threats by analyzing email activity or find individuals among potentially tens of thousands of employees with latent interests in sensitive topics. The same technology might also be used to spot individuals who feel alienated within the organization as well as unraveling any worrying changes in their social network interactions.

Security efforts have tended to focus on outside electronic threats, explain Peterson and colleagues. However, they point out that it is insiders that pose the greatest threat to an organization. Insiders are members of the organization who may have access to sensitive information for legitimate purposes but who could betray that trust for illegitimate reasons.

An aggrieved employee, saboteur, or terrorist infiltrator with access to such information could potentially cause great harm. Spotting the potential for an insider attack quickly without recourse to huge numbers of investigators is essential to preventing such an occurrence.

Peterson and his colleagues have developed an approach to assist investigators looking for such insider threats based on an extended version of Probabilistic Latent Semantic Indexing (PLSI). This extended technology can discern employees' interests from e-mail and create a social network graph showing their various interactions.

The researchers explain that individuals who have shown an interest in a sensitive topic but who have never communicated to others within the organization on this subject are often the most likely to be an insider threat. The software can reveal those people either with a secret interest in that topic or who may feel alienated from the organization and so communicate their interest in it only to those outside the organization.

Another important signal of alienation or a potential problem is a shift in the connections between an individual and others within the organization. If an individual suddenly stops communicating or socializing with others with whom they have previously had frequent contact, then the technology could alert investigators to such changes.

The research team has tested their approach on the archived body of messages from the liquidated Enron company e-mail system. Their PLSI results unearthed several individuals who represented potential insider threats. However, it should be noted that the individuals under indictment are the bosses of the organization. It was the core of the organization that is responsible for the illegal behavior, says Peterson. The team points out that while internet activity was not available for Enron, it is generally available from the same sources that supply e-mail history logs and so could be used to search more widely for insider threats. He adds that by turning the domain 'on its ear' in effect, the identify of the whistleblower could be revealed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Sniffing Out Insider Threats To Security." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080219124512.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2008, February 20). Sniffing Out Insider Threats To Security. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080219124512.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Sniffing Out Insider Threats To Security." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080219124512.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mozilla Bets On Software To Sell Its Chromecast Competitor

Mozilla Bets On Software To Sell Its Chromecast Competitor

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Mozilla's Matchstick streaming device is entering a crowded market. The company is banking on open-source software to rise above the competition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) They can't all read yet, but soon kindergarteners may be able to create basic computer code. Researchers in Massachusetts developed an app that teaches young kids a simple computer programming language. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Goes For Familiarity Over Novelty In Windows 10

Microsoft Goes For Familiarity Over Novelty In Windows 10

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) At a special event in San Francisco, Microsoft introduced its latest operating system, Windows 10, which combines key features from earlier versions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) Apple fans in France discover the latest toy, the Apple Watch. The watch comes in two sizes and an array of interchangeable, fashionable wrist straps. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins