Insider Threat: Applying No Dark Corners Defenses

  • Nick Catrantzos
Living reference work entry


Unlike a frontal attack, an insider threat is a menace that operates from within established defenses and also possesses legitimate access to targets. Insider threat studies draw from many disciplines, with cyber-centric studies currently dominating the field. All disciplines hew to the convention of over-relying on experts and imposing heavy burdens on employees who pose no threat. One possible rationale is that experts see the insider threat as a problem when it is a predicament requiring a higher level of interpretive thinking to address.

Contrary to accepted wisdom, the No Dark Corners approach places monitoring responsibility at the co-worker level, rather than in the exclusive hands of experts, and broadly fosters an environment of transparency where co-workers function as copilots who take an active hand in their own protection. The ultimate aim is denying hostile insiders the opportunity to inflict harm by eliminating their ability to exploit institutional vulnerabilities that represent the dark corners from which an adversary needs to operate in order to penetrate and strike the targeted organization.

A strategy canvas depicts the contrasts between the conventional approach and No Dark Corners. The role of some other prominent aspects of insider threats and defenses is also discussed, including deception, knowledgeable escort, lawful disruption, and the curse of the indelicate obvious. Some societal implications and applications are also explored in broad strokes.


Insider threat No Dark Corners Predicament Copilot Background investigations Random audits Lawful disruption Deception Curse of the indelicate obvious Strategy canvas 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Homeland Defense and SecurityNaval Postgraduate SchoolMontereyUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alexander Siedschlag
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Public AffairsThe Pennsylvania State University – Penn State HarrisburgMiddletownUSA

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