Company insider attacks could be thwarted thanks to a new tool based on gaming technology which has been developed by forensic psychologists.
The hi-tech system has provided a breakthrough in outing malicious employees using technology and sophisticated behavioural analysis.
A team led by Professor Coral Dando, of the University of Wolverhampton, worked on a two-year UK Government-funded project mimicking secure working environments, where conditions of employment support legitimate monitoring of workplace behaviours.
Mock employees completed criminal investigations over extended ‘gaming’ periods, competing to complete investigative tasks in return for financial rewards.
Randomly embedded insiders were covertly tasked with carrying out illegal activity centered on illegitimate access to secure databases, stealing digital data, and passing data outside parties. A large database of behavioural data was harvested and systematically analysed.
Professor Dando and colleagues developed a computer mediated Post-event Veracity Assessment tool (PVA). Akin to intelligence interviewing and drawing on psychological theory, the PVA is designed to maximise the cognitive difficulty for insider employees post an event.
Professor Dando, a former Metropolitan Police Officer, said the stigma attached to insider incidents means they are often handled discretely, resulting in a lack of knowledge and a veil of misunderstanding concerning threat ‘markers’.
“Our findings are timely, and exciting,” she said. “Knowledge that employees have about their organisations means that they are all aware of vulnerabilities. Hence, the threat of employees maliciously leveraging their privileges and familiarity to negatively affect an organisation to the detriment of national security and infrastructures is real, and current.
“The project has yielded some exciting findings, resulting in several novel techniques for using in-work employee behaviours to spot anomalies in the run up to an attack, and highlight subtle deceptive verbal behaviour during a post attack investigation.”
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