Obama issues insider threat guidance for gov't agencies

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President Obama has issued a memorandum to the heads of federal agencies, informing them of new guidance for deterring the information security threat posed by insiders.

The memo describes new standards, which have not been publicly released, to which the agencies must minimally adhere. They include best practices around gathering, analyzing and responding to threat data; monitoring users who access classified information and offering security awareness training to workers.

"The resulting insider threat capabilities will strengthen the protection of classified information across the executive branch and reinforce our defenses against both adversaries and insiders who misuse their access and endanger our  national security," according to the memo.

The standards were developed by the Insider Threat Task Force, which was stood up in October 2011 through an executive order from Obama.

The risk posed by government insiders rose to the forefront in 2010 because of Bradley Manning, the Army soldier who allegedly exfiltrated some 250,000 secret records out of a State Department database and into the hands of  WikiLeaks. Manning has been held in custody for 900 days and still has not be tried.

Meanwhile, federal agencies are facing a meteoric rise in security incidents, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

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