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Unintentional Insider Threats: A Foundational Study

August 2013 Technical Note
CERT Insider Threat Team

In this report, the CERT Insider Threat team examines unintentional insider threat (UIT), a largely unrecognized problem.


Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number


DOI (Digital Object Identifier):


This report examines the problem of unintentional insider threat (UIT) by developing an operational definition of UIT, reviewing relevant research to gain a better understanding of its causes and contributing factors, providing examples of UIT cases and the frequencies of UIT occurrences across several categories, and presenting initial thinking on potential mitigation strategies and countermeasures. Because this research topic has largely been unrecognized, a major goal of this study is to inform government and industry stakeholders about the problem and its potential causes and to guide research and development (R&D) investments toward the highest priority R&D requirements for countering UIT.