Book - Cornell University Press

Insider Threats

| January 2017


High-security organizations around the world face devastating threats from insiders  —trusted employees with access to sensitive information, facilities, and materials.  From Edward Snowden to the Fort Hood shooter to the theft of nuclear materials, the  threat from insiders is on the front page and at the top of the policy agenda. Insider Threats offers detailed case studies of insider disasters across a range of different types of institutions, from biological research laboratories, to nuclear power plants, to  the U.S. Army. Matthew Bunn and Scott D. Sagan outline cognitive and  organizational biases that lead organizations to downplay the insider threat, and they  synthesize "worst practices" from these past mistakes, offering lessons that will be  valuable for any organization with high security and a lot to lose.

Insider threats pose dangers to anyone who handles information that is secret or proprietary, material that is highly valuable or hazardous, people who must be protected, or facilities that might be sabotaged. This is the first book to offer in-depth case studies across a range of industries and contexts, allowing entities such as nuclear facilities and casinos to learn from each other. It also offers an unprecedented analysis of terrorist thinking about using insiders to get fissile material or sabotage nuclear facilities. The book was prepared under the auspices of the Global Nuclear Future initiative at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Matthew Bunn, Harvard University
Andreas Hoelstad Dæhli, Oslo
Kathryn M. Glynn, IBM Global Business Services 
Thomas Hegghammer, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, Oslo
Austin Long, Columbia University
Scott D. Sagan, Stanford University
Ronald Schouten, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School 
Jessica Stern, Harvard University
Amy B. Zegart, Stanford University

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Insider Threats. Edited by Matthew Bunn and Scott D. Sagan. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, January 2017.

The Editors

Scott Sagan