President Barack 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, analysing and responding to threat data, monitoring users who access classified information and offering security awareness training to workers.
It also provides "direction and guidance to promote the development of effective insider threat programs within departments and agencies", in order to deter, detect and mitigate actions by employees who may represent a threat to national security.
Obama said that "these threats encompass potential espionage, violent acts against the government or the nation and unauthorised disclosure of classified information", particularly with an eye on "the vast amounts of classified data available on interconnected United States government computer networks and systems".
"The resulting insider threat capabilities will strengthen the protection of classified information across the executive branch and reinforce our defences 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 created in October 2011 through an executive order from Obama.