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Cyber expert on ’insider threat’ attacks

July 2020 by Dr Duncan Hodges, Senior Lecturer in Cyberspace Operations, Cranfield University

Comments from Dr Duncan Hodges, Senior Lecturer in Cyberspace Operations, Cranfield University, who is actively researching insider threats. He and researcher Katie Paxton-Fear are presenting this paper Understanding Insider Threat Attacks Using Natural Language Processing, at the HCI International Conference&n bsp;on Thursday 23 July 1400CEST.

“The Twitter attack did not target individuals but the platform itself, and exploited a tool internal to the company. The ‘attack’ originated from internal actors and was a ‘malicious insider threat’ - where those with legitimate access use it for malicious activity. Evidence suggests the internal actor was simply bribed to use the tool they had access to.

“Insider threats are very difficult to detect and many companies use tools to try and monitor their systems and employees. However, these tools give degrees of access which can be a significant risk, from an insider threat perspective. “Our latest research considers how reports and viewpoints from employees can be automatically mapped onto an understanding of insider threat. This increased level of knowledge can help organisations better manage security risks originating from insider attacks.”

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