Sean Peisert

ACM Distinguished Member

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Upcoming activities:

IEEE Security & Privacy (ongoing)

NSA SoS Best Paper Competition (annually, deadlines in April)

IEEE Cybersecurity Award for Practice (annually, deadlines in July)

CSET 2024 (Aug. 2024)

NSPW 2024 Sept. 16–18, 2024)

NSF Cybersecurity Summit (Oct. 7–10 2024)

IEEE S&P (Oakland) 2025 (May 12–15, 2025)



Insider Threat

This project is looking at defining, analyzing, and seeking methods of ameliorating the insider threat. Whereas security has traditionally been defined with respect to a perimeter, using static and binary access control decisions, we assert that such a perimeter no longer exists and that traditional access control techniques inhibit authorized users from performing their job. We define the "insider threat" as a combination of (a) access to a particular resource, (b) knowledge of a particular resource, and/or (c) trust of an individual by a particular organization. Moreover, the insider threat is clearly also not binary, but a spectrum of "insiderness" based on the aforementioned qualities. In the past, we have sought to develop access control solutions that integrate this understanding in combination while also being informed by social science of how users may react most optimally to system access control and countermeasures. More recently, we have used a process modeling and analysis approach in the context of elections to evaluate insider threats.

Researchers involved at UC Davis:

Researchers previously involved:

  • Sophie Engle (UC Davis → University of San Francisco)
  • Deb Frincke (PNNL → DOD)
  • Carrie Gates (CA Labs → Dell)
  • Sean Whalen (I3P Fellow, UC Davis and LBNL → Columbia → Mt. Sinai School of Medicine → UCSF)

More information on our past insider threat work on Sophie Engle's page

No sponsors yet.

Publications resulting from this project:

"Insider Detection by Process Analysis"
Matt Bishop, Heather Conboy, Huong Phan, Borislava I. Simidchieva, George Avrunin, Lori Clarke, Lee Osterweil, and Sean Peisert,
Proceedings of the 2014 Workshop on Research for Insider Threat (WRIT), IEEE Computer Society Security and Privacy Workshops, San Jose, CA, May 18, 2014. [BibTeX] [DOI] [Authoritative] [CDL]

"Information Behaving Badly"
Julie Ard, Matt Bishop, Carrie Gates, and Michael Xin Sun
Proceedings of the 2013 New Security Paradigms Workshop (NSPW), pp. 107–118, Banff, Canada, September 2013.

"Turtles All the Way Down: A Clean-Slate, Ground-Up, First-Principles Approach to Secure Systems"
Sean Peisert, Ed Talbot, and Matt Bishop,
Proceedings of the 2012 New Security Paradigms Workshop (NSPW), pp. 15–26, Bertinoro, Italy, September 19–21, 2012. [BibTeX] [DOI] [OA] [CDL]

"A Risk Management Approach to the 'Insider Threat'"
Matt Bishop, Sophie Engle, Deborah A. Frincke, Carrie Gates, Frank L. Greitzer, Sean Peisert, and Sean Whalen,
Insider Threats in Cyber Security, "Advances in Information Security" Series, pp. 115–138, Springer, Berlin, September 2010. [BibTeX] [DOI] [CDL]

A Policy-Based Vulnerability Analysis Framework,
Sophie Jean Engle,
Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Computer Science, University of California, Davis, March 2010

"Case Studies of an Insider Framework"
Matt Bishop, Sophie Engle, Sean Peisert, Sean Whalen, and Carrie Gates,
Proceedings of the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Collaboration Systems and Technology Track, Cyber Security and Information Intelligence Research Minitrack, Waikoloa, HI, January 5–8, 2009. [BibTeX] [DOI] [CDL]

"We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us"
Matt Bishop, Sophie Engle, Sean Peisert, Sean Whalen, and Carrie Gates,
Proceedings of the 2008 New Security Paradigms Workshop (NSPW), pp. 1–11, Lake Tahoe, CA, September 22–25, 2008. [BibTeX] [DOI] [OA] [CDL]
Other Talks:

"Principles of Authentication"
Sean Peisert, Ed Talbot, and Tom Kroeger,
Proceedings of the 2014 Who are you?! Adventures in Authentication: WAY Workshop, Menlo Park, CA, July 9, 2014. [Original]

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Last modified: Thursday, 13-Jul-2023 12:34:24 PDT