(July 18, 2016) -- Nicole Beebe, Director of the Center for Education and Research in Information and Infrastructure Security at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), and Daijin Ko, UTSA professor of management science and statistics, have received a $649,172 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to strengthen insider threat detection.
“The ability to detect threats within an organization and to keep sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands has become vital to national security,” Beebe said.
Beebe and Ko’s top-tier research will involve building an insider threat detection system to prepare for real-world situations wherein a disgruntled employee or even a corporate spy could abscond with valuable information. However, they’re not interested in finding the culprit after an attack has already occurred.
“The goal is to be able to detect an insider threat before that person commits their crimes,” Ko said. “Traditionally, you can look for a change in behavior. For example, this person will start storing up large sums of data on their computer.”
Most organizations have protocols to detect that kind of incident, but there are several other factors that could signal an information breach that are often overlooked. To close this gap, Beebe and Ko, both faculty members in the UTSA College of Business, will detect digital forensic traces that can be used to signal a possible insider threat.
“We’ll search for an abnormal pattern,” said Ko. “Essentially, we’re watching for an outlier based on how long they’re using the computer, when they are using it and how they are using it, among other variables.”
Paul Rivera, President and CEO of Def-Logix, will help the pair develop a software system that can quickly analyze vast amounts of data and identify a threat based on how they use their work computers.
The manual process of sifting through these virtual behaviors would be a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack, and the software will make it possible to quickly find an outlier among mountains of arbitrary data.
The researchers hope that the new technology will not just prevent corporate espionage, but also make it possible to detect breaches, like the ones committed by Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, before they occur.
“This could have a widespread beneficial impact for so many different organizations, public and private,” Beebe said. “These recent leaks have proved that we need to rise to this new challenge, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
Learn more about cybersecurity at UTSA.
Learn more about the UTSA Department of Management Science and Statistics.
Join the Center for Military Families for a panel on Politics in the Service of Military Families, featuring Cedric Leighton, David Splitter, Steve Huerta, and the Office of Congressman Henry Cuellar. The event is free and open to the public.
Buena Vista Street Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BVB 1.328), Downtown Campus
UTSA Dance classes will take the stage and share their talents and passion for dance! Come support our growing dance program! $10 admission
Buena Vista Street Building Theater (BVB 1.326), Downtown Campus
This panel presentation will look at the history of the YWCA and the impact the organization has had on women in the San Antonio community.
McKinney Humanities Building (MH 2.02.10), Main Campus
The Demography Lecture Series continues with Dr. Barbara Bird of American University. Her topic focuses on Insights Into a Hard to Find Population: Latino Entrepreneurs in Metro Washington, D.C. Event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the pay stall spaces of the Monterrey surface lot.
Monterrey Building (MNT 3.240), Downtown Campus
This video tells the story of four Latina lesbians who fought for exoneration after being wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting two girls during the Satanic Panic witch-hunt era of the 1980s and 1990s.
North Paseo Building (NPB 1.114), Main Campus
Tejana/Indígena author Ire'ne Lara Ailva will read from her latest work and discuss her approach to reimagining Tejan@ myths.
Main Building (MB 2.404), Main Campus
Muralist Crystal Arias will discuss her current mural "Cultivate the Past to Prestige" at La India Herbs and themes she utilizes in her other works.
McKinney Humanities Building (MH 3.02.26), Main Campus
The UTSA Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is a co-sponsor of the CARTA 19th Annual Conference. The group meets annually to exchange educational programs, ideas, and techniques and to network with other teachers of Russian. Registration required.
DoubleTree by Hilton, Downtown San Antonio
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.