Detection of Anomalous Insiders in Collaborative Environments via Relational Analysis of Access Logs.

Chen Y, Malin B
CODASPY. 2011 2011: 63-74

PMID: 25485309 · PMCID: PMC4257138 · DOI:10.1145/1943513.1943524

Collaborative information systems (CIS) are deployed within a diverse array of environments, ranging from the Internet to intelligence agencies to healthcare. It is increasingly the case that such systems are applied to manage sensitive information, making them targets for malicious insiders. While sophisticated security mechanisms have been developed to detect insider threats in various file systems, they are neither designed to model nor to monitor collaborative environments in which users function in dynamic teams with complex behavior. In this paper, we introduce a (CADS), an unsupervised learning framework to detect insider threats based on information recorded in the access logs of collaborative environments. CADS is based on the observation that typical users tend to form community structures, such that users with low a nity to such communities are indicative of anomalous and potentially illicit behavior. The model consists of two primary components: relational pattern extraction and anomaly detection. For relational pattern extraction, CADS infers community structures from CIS access logs, and subsequently derives communities, which serve as the CADS pattern core. CADS then uses a formal statistical model to measure the deviation of users from the inferred communities to predict which users are anomalies. To empirically evaluate the threat detection model, we perform an analysis with six months of access logs from a real electronic health record system in a large medical center, as well as a publicly-available dataset for replication purposes. The results illustrate that CADS can distinguish simulated anomalous users in the context of real user behavior with a high degree of certainty and with significant performance gains in comparison to several competing anomaly detection models.

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