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NCSC issues insider threat guide for US critical infrastructure entities

The US National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) has published 'Insider Threat Mitigation for U.S. Critical Infrastructure Entities: Guidelines from an Intelligence Perspective'. The new publication focuses on the human threats to US critical infrastructure including employees at critical infrastructure organizations who may be exploited by foreign adversaries. The publication provides guidance on how to incorporate these threat vectors into organizational risk management plans and offers best practices for critical infrastructure entities to mitigate insider threats.

All organizations are vulnerable to insider threats from employees who may use their authorized access to facilities, personnel, or information to harm their organization, intentionally or unintentionally. The harm can range from negligence -such as failing to secure data or clicking on a spear-phishing link - to malicious activities like sabotage, intellectual property theft, fraud, or workplace violence. 

“Although often less appreciated than remote-access cyber threats, insider threats to critical infrastructure entities are growing and can be more difficult to mitigate.  Whether intentional or unintentional, the actions of insider threats in critical infrastructure can cause grave harm to national security, public safety, as well as individual organizations and state and local governments,” said Acting NCSC Director Michael Orlando.  “This publication provides a roadmap for critical infrastructure organizations to build effective insider threat programs.”

To help guard against insider threats, the publication recommends that critical infrastructure entities, at a minimum:

  • Have an insider threat program that identifies individual anomalous behavior at an early stage and the resources to respond appropriately, and that they
  • Respond in a way that fosters trust across the organization and leverages the workforce as a partner. 

Read the document (PDF).

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