David A. Bader
IEEE Fellow
AAAS Fellow
College of Computing
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, GA 30332



Detecting Insider Threats in a Real Corporate Database of Computer Usage Activity

This paper reports on methods and results of an applied research project by a team consisting of SAIC and four universities to develop, integrate, and evaluate new approaches to detect the weak signals characteristic of insider threats on organizationsí information systems. Our system combines structural and semantic information from a real corporate database of monitored activity on their usersí computers to detect independently developed red team inserts of malicious insider activities. We have developed and applied multiple algorithms for anomaly detection based on suspected scenarios of malicious insider behavior, indicators of unusual activities, high-dimensional statistical patterns, temporal sequences, and normal graph evolution. Algorithms and representations for dynamic graph processing provide the ability to scale as needed for enterprise-level deployments on real-time data streams. We have also developed a visual language for specifying combinations of features, baselines, peer groups, time periods, and algorithms to detect anomalies suggestive of instances of insider threat behavior. We defined over 100 data features in seven categories based on approximately 5.5 million actions per day from approximately 5,500 users. We have achieved area under the ROC curve values of up to 0.979 and lift values of 65 on the top 50 user-days identified on two months of real data.

Publication History

Versions of this paper appeared as:
  1. T. Senator, D.A. Bader, et al., ``Detecting Insider Threats in a Real Corporate Database of Computer Usage Activities,'' 19th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD), Chicago, IL, August 11-14, 2013.

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Last updated: June 3, 2013


Computational Biology

Parallel Computing