West Point launches New Insider Threat Journal

By Meghan Dower-Rogers USMA Academic Research Division - October 31, 2023
1 / 2

“Is there a nobler pursuit than that of protecting our people and the organizations they serve and that serve their employees?” That is the question that Dr. Jonathan Roginski, program manager for the West Point Insider Threat Program and assistant professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy, poses at the opening of the inaugural edition of the “Managing Insider Risk & Organizational Resilience (MIROR)” journal at MIROR Journal – West Point Insider Threat Program.

Roginski’s opening question leads into the journal’s welcome to readers, in which he stresses the importance of protecting the human capital that drives companies and agencies. Additionally, he explains how the Insider Threat Program developed from a need to bridge the gap between theory and research in the understanding of insider threat and that USMA is uniquely positioned to tackle this mission with an interdisciplinary approach. 

Roginski explains how the journal ties into the mission of the program.

“The MIROR journal contributes to our program goal of creating opportunities for impactful conversations to happen within the enterprise that foster bi-directional connection between organization and employee,” Roginski said. “Where employees are connected to and invested in their companies — and feel that loyalty returned — the workforce is happier, more productive, more resilient … and less prone to threat.”

Much of the content in the inaugural edition of MIROR is focused on identifying and mitigating factors than can put employees at risk for intentional or unwitting damage to the organization and/or its people, including financial troubles, problems at home, or work and substance abuse. Such behaviors can lead to employees sharing, leaking and stealing sensitive information for financial gain, a sense of power, or other misguided reasons. Contributors represent diverse occupations including law enforcement, psychology and IT, and come from both government and non-government backgrounds. 

Rebecca Morgan, senior advisor of the DOD Insider Threat, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Counterintelligence, Law Enforcement and Security, described how MIROR can help deepen awareness of the impact that insider threat has on national security. 

“The MIROR journal brings cutting edge research, best operational practices and leadership perspectives directly to security practitioners,” Morgan said. “These topics are essential to our understanding of the insider threat mission and can inform our knowledge of human vulnerabilities, of the current threat environment, and of the most effective ways to deter, detect and mitigate insider threats to national security.”

Army Protection Division Chief Col. Jamon Junius added, “Countering the insider threat is a key element of protection that ensures the Army’s ability to modernize and project the force unhindered by intentional and unintentional harm caused by insiders. The MIROR journal provides an important forum to collect and distribute ideas at the cutting edge of this important field.” 

The publication of MIROR is resourced by the Department of Defense (DOD) Insider Threat Program, which leads DOD efforts to prevent, deter, detect and mitigate insider threats to the DOD enterprise. The Headquarters of the Army, G3/5/7, Department of the Army Military Operations-Operations Directorate Protection (DAMO-ODP) Army Counter-Insider Threat Program is an integrated effort across the total Army. 

The program was established to protect installations, networks, facilities, personnel and missions from the risks insiders pose to national security and provides programmatic support. The Threat Lab, founded in 2018 to incorporate the social and behavioral sciences into the counter insider threat mission space, and the Army Insider Operations Hub, the operational element of the counter insider threat program, are peer organizations to the West Point Insider Threat Program.

Look out for the next issue, which will go online in February, ahead of the Insider Threat Summit in Monterey, California, with another in August, leading to next year’s National Insider Threat Awareness Month (NITAM).

Interested in contributing to future journal editions? The final section of the inaugural edition provides information about submissions and includes a call for papers. The editorial team, which includes Roginski, Dr. Jan Kallberg, assistant professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, and Col. James Bluman, associate and academy professor and research program director for the Department of Mathematical Sciences, as well as scholars from other departments and industries, review content for topics that advance discussion about insider risk and organization resilience, including but not limited to recruitment and employment screening, training and education, and continuous evaluation. 

Submission categories include professional commentary, original research, traditional research articles, research notes (short articles), lessons learned, case studies and vignettes and book reviews. For more details, including word counts, follow the submission link at Editorial Manager®.

You can find this journal, as well as the other journals, books and podcasts published by the West Point Press at westpointpress.com.