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Empowering U.S. Allies to Protect Critical Infrastructure—from the Inside

By Denise Schiavone

MITRE’s partnership with DTEX Systems enables U.S. allies to cultivate programs to deter, detect, and mitigate insider risks before they become threats—and protect critical infrastructure across industries including finance, healthcare, and more.

Imagine a regional utility company with 10,000+ employees responsible for maintaining systems vital to daily life. One bad actor on the inside could take out an entire power grid, leaving millions in the dark—or worse.

The U.S. is not alone in this threat. Our allies face the same challenges in safeguarding critical infrastructure across services like banking, water supply, and electricity.   

Such systems are hard enough to protect from foreign adversary threats. They can be even trickier to protect from employees and others with legitimate access to sensitive components.

In partnership with DTEX Systems™, we’ve brought a new solution to the table: MITRE’s Inside-R Protect™. The program provides our Five Eyes partners—in Australia, Canada, the UK, and New Zealand, along with U.S. stakeholders—a set of community-oriented offerings to advance their insider risk programs.

MITRE’s partnerships with the private sector play an important role in advancing capabilities and leading practices to benefit the public good. Our collaboration with the like-minded team at DTEX does just that.

‘“The workforce is every organization’s greatest asset, and in many ways the missing link to better cyber security,” said Bahman Mahbod, President and CEO of DTEX Systems. “Real-time awareness…about a user’s behavior, understanding what’s normal versus what’s not, is the key to successful insider threat mitigation and attack prevention.”’

For example, those behaviors include specific patterns in how employees search for and collect information on a corporate network. Patterns that differ from the rest of the organization could indicate an intent to steal intellectual property or leak information.

Inside-R Protect offers expert review and independent assessment of organizations’ insider risk programs, as well as solutions for self-assessments. Another crucial element: continuous knowledge transfer of our applied research from practitioners’ actual insider threat cases.

“We strive to help our allies stand up successful insider risk programs using data-driven strategies to deter, detect, and mitigate insider threats,” says MITRE’s Deanna Caputo, chief scientist for insider threat capabilities.

“And to help them do that faster, cheaper, and smarter, by combining cyber-physical and psycho-social approaches.”

One of those allies is Australia, where MITRE launched the Centre for Information Integrity & Defence. We also support the Australian Cyber Collaboration Center, as does DTEX. Additionally, we recently announced our agreement with Australia to enhance collaboration and uplift sovereign capability. So, starting Down Under was a natural first step.

Inside-R Protect has provided key recommendations to a large bank in Australia on their insider risks. They’re now incorporating this guidance to elevate their insider risk program. And we’re working with other Five Eyes partners on applications for this capability.

By increasing engagement across the public and private sectors, we can share knowledge and data safely to better manage the challenges and sensitivities around insider threats.

Deanna Caputo, chief scientist for insider threat capabilities

A Community-First Solution for a Human-First Problem

Inside-R Protect’s success builds on several factors.

First: MITRE brings 15 years’ experience leveraging behavioral and cyber sciences to help advance insider threat programs. Second: Our unique role managing six U.S. federal R&D centers enables us to draw together—and gain insights from—key stakeholders across government and industry to address insider risk.

DTEX offers its own distinctive expertise and capability. It’s developed a modern security platform to support the workforce of the future. The platform “delivers always-on, human-centric cyber security” to prevent attacks from the inside.

But more importantly, the company shares MITRE’s broad vision for maturing programs and advancing the insider threat community.

Chris Folk, our director of strategic partnerships, says, “From the very beginning of our engagement with DTEX, we found them to be forward-leaning. They’re eager to help us change the community to improve outcomes within the insider threat landscape.”

He explains the partnership is just one piece of the solution to a problem that isn’t a cyber-first or a cyber-only problem—it’s a human-first problem. And its scope and complexity require many partners collaborating to evolve the community’s approach to this human-behavior-based threat.

Our non-exclusive licensing agreement with DTEX exemplifies how we transfer our innovations to commercial industry to grow the economy and help create a safer world. Roughly 35 organizations, including a major global healthcare system, are currently working toward an agreement with DTEX to leverage licensed MITRE intellectual property.

The Inside-R Protect effort delivers a bonus by opening a safe and controlled dialogue about insider threats—traditionally a highly sensitive subject.

“By increasing engagement across the public and private sectors, we can share knowledge and data safely to better manage the challenges and sensitivities around insider threats,” Caputo explains. “That equips organizations, both at home and abroad, with solutions to measure and change attitudes, intentions, and behaviors to help protect critical infrastructure.”

It also expands on MITRE’s whole-of-nation problem-solving strategy—applying a global approach to a global challenge.

For more information about Inside-R Protect, partnering with MITRE, or licensing MITRE intellectual property, contact our Partnerships Office at