Nextgov on the Government Accountability Office preparing to release a report stating how the Pentagon needs to increase “insider threat” monitoring to prevent future Edward Snowden-like actions:
Just before the Senate cleared the USA Freedom Act, the Government Accountability Office released a report recommending the Defense Department take new steps to set up so-called “insider threat” programs, which aim to stop information leaks by disgruntled employees.
The unclassified version of the report found only half of military components GAO reviewed have logged system and user behaviors to develop “a baseline of normal activity patterns.” The purpose of tracing the activities of Pentagon personnel is to zero in on network “anomalies,” computer usage that might be indicative of a leaker, the watchdogs said. NSA is part of the Defense Department.
The employee insider threat program was borne out of various laws and White House policies issued since 2010 that require all departments to do a better job of fortressing classified information. That year, former soldier Chelsea Manning shared top secret files with the WikiLeaks website. The ability of ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden to reveal classified intelligence in 2013 suggests anti-leak programs need more muscle, Patricia Larsen, co-director of the governmentwide National Insider Threat Task Force, said last December.
An “insider threat” program is a good investment for DoD, however if its sole purpose is to monitor for whistleblowers like Snowden then it will ultimately prove pointless.