By Randy Trzeciak
Senior Member of the Technical Staff
The CERT Program
According to the 2011 CyberSecurity Watch Survey, approximately 21 percent of cyber crimes against organizations are committed by insiders. Of the 607 organizations participating in the survey, 46 percent stated that the damage caused by insiders was more significant than the damage caused by outsiders. Over the past 11 years, researchers at the CERT Insider Threat Center have documented incidents related to malicious insider activity. Their sources include media reports, the courts, the United States Secret Service, victim organizations, and interviews with convicted felons. From these cases, CERT researchers have identified four models of insider threat behavior: (1) information technology (IT) sabotage, (2) fraud, (3) national security/espionage, and (4) theft of intellectual property (IP). Using those patterns, our researchers have developed network monitoring controls that combine technological tools with behavioral indicators to warn network traffic analysts of potential malicious behavior. While these controls do not necessarily identify ongoing cyber crimes, they may identify behaviors of at-risk insiders that an organization should consider for further investigation. This blog posting, the second in a series highlighting controls developed by the CERT Insider Threat Center, explores controls developed to prevent, identify, or detect IT sabotage.