Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
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Technical Report

The Critical Role of Positive Incentives for Reducing Insider Threats

  • Abstract

    Traditional insider threat practices involve negative incentives that attempt to force employees to act in the interests of the organization and, when relied on excessively, can result in negative unintended consequences that exacerbate insider threats. Positive incentives that attempt to encourage employees to act in the interests of the organization can complement negative incentives. In our research, we identified and analyzed three avenues for aligning the interests of the employee and the organization: job engagement, perceived organizational support, and connectedness with co-workers. Based on an analysis of three insider threat incidents and an exploratory survey of organizations, we developed a model of the disgruntled insider threat problem as it relates to dissatisfaction with the employing organization and the potential benefits associated with positive incentives that improve perceived organizational support and justice. To help organizations understand their options for using positive incentives as part of their insider threat program, we outline workforce management practices to improve employees’ feelings of being supported by the organization. This research is a first step toward creating a well-grounded foundation on which insider threat programs can establish a more balanced and effective means of reducing insider threats, one that is a net positive for both the employee and the organization.

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Cite This Report

SEI

Moore, Andrew; Savinda, Jeff; Monaco, Elizabeth; Moyes, Jamie; Rousseau, Denise; Perl, Samuel; Cowley, Jennifer; Collins, Matthew; Cassidy, Tracy; VanHoudnos, Nathan; Buttles-Valdez, Palma; Bauer, Daniel; & Parshall, Allison. The Critical Role of Positive Incentives for Reducing Insider Threats. CMU/SEI-2016-TR-014. Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. 2016. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=484917

IEEE

Moore. Andrew, Savinda. Jeff, Monaco. Elizabeth, Moyes. Jamie, Rousseau. Denise, Perl. Samuel, Cowley. Jennifer, Collins. Matthew, Cassidy. Tracy, VanHoudnos. Nathan, Buttles-Valdez. Palma, Bauer. Daniel, and Parshall. Allison, "The Critical Role of Positive Incentives for Reducing Insider Threats," Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Technical Report CMU/SEI-2016-TR-014, 2016. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=484917

APA

Moore, Andrew., Savinda, Jeff., Monaco, Elizabeth., Moyes, Jamie., Rousseau, Denise., Perl, Samuel., Cowley, Jennifer., Collins, Matthew., Cassidy, Tracy., VanHoudnos, Nathan., Buttles-Valdez, Palma., Bauer, Daniel., & Parshall, Allison. (2016). The Critical Role of Positive Incentives for Reducing Insider Threats (CMU/SEI-2016-TR-014). Retrieved January 19, 2017, from the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University website: http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=484917

CHI

Andrew Moore, Jeff Savinda, Elizabeth Monaco, Jamie Moyes, Denise Rousseau, Samuel Perl, Jennifer Cowley, Matthew Collins, Tracy Cassidy, Nathan VanHoudnos, Palma Buttles-Valdez, Daniel Bauer, & Allison Parshall. The Critical Role of Positive Incentives for Reducing Insider Threats (CMU/SEI-2016-TR-014). Pittsburgh, PA: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 2016. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=484917

MLA

Moore, Andrew., Savinda, Jeff., Monaco, Elizabeth., Moyes, Jamie., Rousseau, Denise., Perl, Samuel., Cowley, Jennifer., Collins, Matthew., Cassidy, Tracy., VanHoudnos, Nathan., Buttles-Valdez, Palma., Bauer, Daniel., & Parshall, Allison. 2016. The Critical Role of Positive Incentives for Reducing Insider Threats (Technical Report CMU/SEI-2016-TR-014). Pittsburgh: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=484917

BibTex

@techreport{MooreTheCritical2016,
title={The Critical Role of Positive Incentives for Reducing Insider Threats},
author={Andrew Moore and Jeff Savinda and Elizabeth Monaco and Jamie Moyes and Denise Rousseau and Samuel Perl and Jennifer Cowley and Matthew Collins and Tracy Cassidy and Nathan VanHoudnos and Palma Buttles-Valdez and Daniel Bauer and Allison Parshall},
year={2016},
number={CMU/SEI-2016-TR-014},
institution={Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University},
address={Pittsburgh, PA},
url={http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=484917} }