Abstract for: Modeling the Influence of Positive Incentives on Insider Threat Risk Reduction

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. The system dynamics model is based on previous research results, published data, and simple (but arguable) assumptions showing how positive incentives can increase a programís operational efficiency with reduced investigative costs and fewer incidents involving disgruntled or exploitive insiders. Our incident analysis and survey work provided validation of the simulation model structure. We will continue to calibrate our model based on future research and expect to demonstrate similar benefits as our work progresses.