Impact and Key Challenges of Insider Threats on Organizations and Critical Businesses




Saxena, Neetesh
Hayes, Emma
Bertino, Elisa
Ojo, Patrick
Choo, Kim-Kwang Raymond
Burnap, Pete

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The insider threat has consistently been identified as a key threat to organizations and governments. Understanding the nature of insider threats and the related threat landscape can help in forming mitigation strategies, including non-technical means. In this paper, we survey and highlight challenges associated with the identification and detection of insider threats in both public and private sector organizations, especially those part of a nation's critical infrastructure. We explore the utility of the cyber kill chain to understand insider threats, as well as understanding the underpinning human behavior and psychological factors. The existing defense techniques are discussed and critically analyzed, and improvements are suggested, in line with the current state-of-the-art cyber security requirements. Finally, open problems related to the insider threat are identified and future research directions are discussed.



cyber kill chain, insider threat, attack vectors


Electronics 9 (9): 1460 (2020)


Information Systems and Cyber Security