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System dynamics approach to malicious insider cyber-threat modelling and analysis

Fagade, Tesleem; Spyridopoulos, Theodoros; Albishry, Nabeel; Tryfonas, Theo


Tesleem Fagade

Nabeel Albishry

Theo Tryfonas


Theo Tryfonas


© Springer International Publishing AG 2017. Enforcing cybersecurity controls against malicious insiders touches upon complex issues like people, process and technology. In large and complex systems, addressing the problem of insider cyber threat involves diverse solutions like compliance, technical and procedural controls. This work applies system dynamics modelling to understand the interrelationships between three distinct indicators of a malicious insider, in order to determine the possibility of a security breach through developing trends and patterns. It combines observable behaviour of actors based on the well-established theory of planned behaviour; technical footprints from incident log information and social network profiling of personality traits, based on the ‘big five’ personality model. Finally, it demonstrates how system dynamics as a risk modelling approach can flag early signs of malicious insider threats by aggregating associative properties of different risk elements. Our initial findings suggest that key challenges to combating insider threats are uncertainty, irregular intervals between malicious activities and exclusion of different personality factors in the design of cyber-security protocols. Based on these insights we propose how this knowledge may help with mitigation controls in a secure environment.


Fagade, T., Spyridopoulos, T., Albishry, N., & Tryfonas, T. (2017). System dynamics approach to malicious insider cyber-threat modelling and analysis. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, 10292 LNCS, 309-321.

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Conference Name 19th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction
Conference Location Vancouver, Canada
Start Date Jul 9, 2017
End Date Jul 14, 2017
Acceptance Date Dec 6, 2016
Publication Date Jan 1, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 13, 2017
Journal Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Print ISSN 0302-9743
Electronic ISSN 1611-3349
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10292 LNCS
Pages 309-321
Series Title Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Keywords system dynamics, insider cyber-threat
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : 19th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction