A reportable insider threat typically refers to a situation where an individual with authorized access to an organization’s sensitive information or resources misuses or abuses their privileges in a way that could harm the organization’s interests.


Which scenario might indicate a reportable insider threat?

A reportable insider threat refers to a situation where an individual with authorized access to an organization’s sensitive information or resources misuses or abuses their privileges in a way that could harm the organization’s interests. While every case may vary, here are some scenarios that might indicate a reportable insider threat:

  1. Unauthorized access or data exfiltration: An employee accessing or attempting to access sensitive information or systems beyond their job responsibilities, especially if there is no legitimate business need for such access. This could include copying, downloading, or transferring sensitive data to unauthorized locations or external entities.
  2. Intellectual property theft: An employee stealing proprietary information, trade secrets, or other intellectual property belonging to the organization, with the intention of using or disclosing it for personal benefit or competitive advantage.
  3. Sabotage or intentional damage: An employee deliberately causing harm to the organization’s systems, networks, data, or physical assets, leading to disruptions in operations or financial losses.
  4. Violation of security policies: Repeatedly disregarding established security policies, such as sharing passwords, circumventing security measures, or installing unauthorized software, which could compromise the organization’s security posture.
  5. Fraudulent activities: Engaging in fraudulent practices, such as forging documents, manipulating financial records, or embezzling funds, for personal gain at the expense of the organization.
  6. Suspicious online behavior: An employee engaging in suspicious or malicious activities online, such as visiting illicit websites, attempting unauthorized system access, or participating in hacking forums.
  7. Behavioral changes: Noticeable changes in an employee’s behavior, such as sudden financial difficulties, excessive workplace absenteeism, substance abuse, or displays of disgruntlement, which may indicate potential insider threats.
  8. Violation of compliance regulations: An employee deliberately ignoring or circumventing compliance regulations, such as data privacy laws or industry-specific regulations, putting the organization at risk of legal consequences.
  9. Unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information: An employee leaking or sharing confidential information with unauthorized individuals or entities, whether intentional or unintentional.
  10. Collusion with external threat actors: An employee collaborating with external threat actors to compromise the organization’s security or engage in malicious activities.



Which scenario might indicate a reportable insider threat security incident?

  1. Unauthorized access or data breach: An insider gains unauthorized access to sensitive systems or data, potentially leading to data breaches, unauthorized disclosures, or information theft.
  2. Malicious software or malware installation: An insider installs or deploys malicious software, viruses, or malware on the organization’s systems or network, intending to cause harm, disrupt operations, or gain unauthorized access.
  3. System or network sabotage: An insider intentionally disrupts or damages the organization’s systems, networks, or infrastructure, leading to operational disruptions, data loss, or financial harm.
  4. Unauthorized modification or destruction of data: An insider deliberately alters, deletes, or destroys critical data, files, or records without proper authorization, impacting the organization’s operations or compromising data integrity.
  5. Insider misuse of privileges: An insider misuses their authorized privileges, such as administrative access, to engage in unauthorized activities, including unauthorized data access, unauthorized system modifications, or unauthorized privilege escalation.
  6. Unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information: An insider shares or leaks confidential or sensitive information, either internally or externally, without proper authorization, potentially leading to reputational damage, legal consequences, or financial harm.
  7. Insider trading or financial fraud: An insider engages in insider trading, manipulates financial records, embezzles funds, or engages in fraudulent activities for personal gain or to harm the organization financially.
  8. Social engineering or phishing attacks: An insider falls victim to social engineering tactics or phishing attacks, leading to unauthorized access, disclosure of sensitive information, or compromise of credentials that can be exploited by threat actors.
  9. Violation of security policies or procedures: An insider consistently violates established security policies, procedures, or best practices, compromising the organization’s security posture and potentially facilitating security incidents.
  10. Collusion with external threat actors: An insider collaborates with external threat actors, such as hackers or competitors, to breach the organization’s security defenses, gain unauthorized access, or steal sensitive information.


Insider threat indicators

  1. Excessive access privileges: Employees who have unnecessary or excessive access privileges beyond their job requirements may pose a higher risk of abusing their access for malicious purposes.
  2. Unauthorized system or data access: Employees attempting to access systems, files, or data that are outside their authorized scope or attempting to bypass security controls can be a strong indicator of an insider threat.
  3. Unusual working hours or after-hours activities: Employees who frequently access sensitive information, systems, or facilities during non-business hours or exhibit suspicious behavior during off-hours might be engaging in unauthorized activities.
  4. Rapid access to large volumes of data: Employees who download or transfer large amounts of sensitive data quickly, especially if it is outside their regular job duties, could be preparing to steal or exfiltrate information.
  5. Multiple failed access attempts: Repeated failed login attempts or suspicious activity related to system access, especially with privileged accounts, may indicate an insider attempting to gain unauthorized access or escalate their privileges.
  6. Negligence or non-compliance: Employees who consistently violate security policies, disregard data handling procedures, or fail to follow established protocols might create opportunities for insider threats to exploit vulnerabilities.
  7. Unexplained financial difficulties: Employees facing sudden financial problems or displaying unexplained wealth beyond their means may be susceptible to engaging in fraudulent activities or accepting bribes.
  8. Personal grievances or disgruntlement: Individuals with personal grievances against the organization, such as being passed over for promotions, experiencing conflicts with colleagues, or facing disciplinary actions, may be more inclined to engage in insider threats as a form of retaliation.
  9. Substance abuse or emotional instability: Employees struggling with substance abuse or emotional instability may become more vulnerable to manipulation or coercion by external parties seeking to exploit their access privileges.
  10. Social engineering susceptibility: Employees who consistently fall for phishing emails, social engineering techniques, or exhibit poor security awareness may inadvertently facilitate insider threats by disclosing sensitive information or granting unauthorized access.



Management sensitive compartmented information removable

  1. Access control: Limit access to SCI removable media to authorized personnel only. Establish a clear chain of custody and ensure that only individuals with appropriate security clearances and a need-to-know are granted access.
  2. Secure storage: When not in use, SCI removable media should be stored in secure, locked containers or safes. Ensure that the storage area is physically secure and that only authorized individuals have access.
  3. Encryption: Encrypt the data stored on SCI removable media to protect it in case of loss or theft. Encryption ensures that even if the media is compromised, the data remains unreadable without the encryption key.
  4. Two-person integrity: Implement a two-person integrity (TPI) concept for handling and transporting SCI removable media. This means that at least two authorized individuals must be present and actively involved in the handling of the media at all times to minimize the risk of unauthorized access or tampering.
  5. Tracking and accountability: Maintain a strict record of the movement and usage of SCI removable media. Implement a system to track who accessed the media, when, and for what purpose. This helps establish accountability and aids in investigations if any security incidents occur.
  6. Training and awareness: Provide comprehensive training to personnel on the proper handling, storage, and transport of SCI removable media. Raise awareness about the risks associated with mishandling or unauthorized disclosure and emphasize the importance of following established security protocols.
  7. Regular audits and inspections: Conduct periodic audits and inspections to ensure compliance with security protocols. Verify the proper use, storage, and encryption of SCI removable media. Identify any potential vulnerabilities or weaknesses in the system and take appropriate corrective actions.
  8. Incident response and reporting: Establish procedures for reporting and responding to any incidents involving SCI removable media, such as loss, theft, or unauthorized access. Promptly investigate and document any security breaches or suspicious activities and take appropriate remedial measures. 



Controlled unclassified information physical security

  1. Access control: Limit physical access to areas where CUI is stored or processed. Use access control measures such as locks, badges, or biometric authentication to ensure that only authorized individuals can enter these areas.
  2. Secure storage: Store CUI in secure containers, cabinets, or safes that are resistant to tampering, theft, or unauthorized access. These storage units should be made of sturdy materials and have locks or combination mechanisms.
  3. Restricted areas: Designate specific areas or rooms where CUI is handled or stored. Clearly mark these areas with appropriate signage to indicate restricted access. Consider implementing additional security measures, such as alarms or surveillance cameras, to monitor these areas.
  4. Inventory management: Maintain an accurate inventory of CUI assets, including documents, files, or physical media. Implement a tracking system to record the movement of CUI assets, including check-in, check-out, and transfer of custody.
  5. Secure destruction: Establish procedures for the secure destruction of CUI when it is no longer needed. Use shredders or other approved methods to ensure complete destruction of physical documents or media containing CUI.
  6. Visitor control: Implement procedures to control and monitor the access of visitors to areas where CUI is present. Require visitors to sign in, provide identification, and be escorted by authorized personnel while in CUI areas.
  7. Security awareness training: Provide training to employees on the importance of physical security for CUI. Educate them about their responsibilities in safeguarding CUI and the potential consequences of unauthorized disclosure or mishandling.
  8. Incident response and reporting: Establish protocols for reporting and responding to security incidents involving CUI. Clearly define the steps to be taken in the event of a breach, loss, or theft of CUI and ensure that employees are aware of the reporting procedures.
  9. Regular security assessments: Conduct periodic assessments and audits of physical security controls for CUI. Identify vulnerabilities, gaps, or areas for improvement and take appropriate corrective actions to enhance security.
  10. Compliance with regulations: Familiarize yourself with applicable laws, regulations, or guidelines related to the protection of CUI. Ensure that your physical security measures align with these requirements.


Security identity management sensitive compartmented

  1. Security clearance verification: Before granting access to SCI, verify that individuals possess the necessary security clearances. This involves conducting background checks, evaluating their suitability for access to sensitive information, and ensuring that their clearances are current and valid.
  2. Need-to-know determination: Grant access to SCI on a strict need-to-know basis. Evaluate each individual’s specific job responsibilities and determine if access to SCI is essential for them to perform their duties effectively. Restrict access to only those individuals who require access for legitimate purposes.
  3. Access control systems: Implement robust access control systems to manage and monitor entry into areas where SCI is stored or processed. This can include technologies such as biometric authentication, smart cards, or PIN codes. Regularly review access privileges and revoke them promptly when individuals no longer require access.
  4. User provisioning and deprovisioning: Establish clear procedures for user provisioning and deprovisioning to ensure that access to SCI is promptly granted or revoked based on changes in an individual’s status, such as transfers, promotions, or terminations. Implement strong controls to prevent unauthorized access during the process.
  5. Role-based access control (RBAC): Use RBAC principles to assign access rights based on job roles and responsibilities. By aligning access permissions with specific job functions, RBAC reduces the risk of unauthorized access to SCI.
  6. User authentication and authorization: Implement strong user authentication mechanisms, such as two-factor authentication (2FA), to ensure that individuals logging in to systems that contain SCI are properly identified and verified. Additionally, enforce strict authorization controls to restrict access to specific SCI compartments based on an individual’s clearance level and need-to-know.
  7. Auditing and monitoring: Implement robust auditing and monitoring mechanisms to track user activities and detect any unauthorized access attempts or suspicious behavior. Monitor and review access logs, system events, and user activities to identify potential security incidents or policy violations.
  8. Continuous training and awareness: Provide ongoing training and awareness programs to educate employees about the importance of safeguarding SCI, the proper handling of classified information, and the consequences of unauthorized access or disclosure. Promote a culture of security awareness and responsibility among all personnel.
  9. Incident response and reporting: Establish protocols for reporting and responding to security incidents involving SCI. Clearly define the steps to be taken in the event of a breach or unauthorized access and ensure that employees are aware of their roles and responsibilities in incident response.
  10. Compliance with regulations: Familiarize yourself with relevant security regulations, guidelines, and directives governing the handling of SCI, such as those issued by the Defense Security Service (DSS) or the National Security Agency (NSA). Ensure that your security identity management practices align with these requirements.


Threat controlled unclassified information physical

  1. Unauthorized access:

    • Implement access control systems, such as locks, keys, or electronic card readers, to restrict entry to areas where CUI is stored or processed.
    • Use visitor management protocols to track and control access by external parties.
    • Install surveillance cameras or employ security personnel to monitor sensitive areas.
  2. Theft or loss:
    • Implement secure storage solutions, such as locked cabinets, safes, or data centers, to protect physical CUI assets.
    • Establish clear procedures for the secure handling and transport of CUI, including encryption of electronic media and secure destruction of physical documents.
    • Conduct regular inventories and audits to track and account for CUI assets.
  3. Physical damage: Physical damage, whether intentional or accidental, can compromise the availability and integrity of CUI. Consider the following measures:
    • Implement environmental controls, such as temperature and humidity monitoring, fire detection and suppression systems, and backup power supplies, to protect against physical damage.
    • Ensure proper equipment maintenance to prevent malfunctions that could result in data loss or corruption.
    • Back up CUI data regularly and store backups in secure off-site locations.
  4. Social engineering: Physical threats can also arise from social engineering tactics targeting individuals with access to CUI. Mitigate this threat through:
    • Security awareness training for employees to recognize and resist social engineering attempts.
    • Strict authentication procedures to validate the identity of individuals requesting access to CUI.
    • Clear procedures for verifying requests for sensitive information or actions related to CUI.
  5. Insider threats: Internal personnel with authorized access to CUI can pose a significant threat. Address this threat by:
    • Implementing access control mechanisms, least privilege principles, and segregation of duties to limit unauthorized access and reduce the risk of insider misuse.
    • Conducting background checks and periodic reviews of personnel with access to CUI.
    • Encouraging a culture of reporting suspicious activities and providing channels for anonymous reporting.