Natasha Martlew

Research student profile

Research degree: PhD programme
Start date: 2020
Open Research and Contributor ID (ORCID)0009-0002-7651-7893

Research summary

Project title: The insider amongst us: Individual language use and its impact on insider threat detection and mitigation

Of all the issues that confront cybersecurity professionals, insider attacks appear to be the most problematic in terms of both impact and mitigation (Schultz, 2002). One of the principal obstacles in researching the detection and prevention of insider attacks is that relatively few studies have been conducted in this field. Of the studies that have been undertaken, most have been designed to solve specific problems within specific organisations, thus there are few behavioural and psychological studies to guide general approaches to tackling the problem (Legg et al., 2015; Stephens & Maloof, 2014).

Given the potential damage and cost that can result from insider attacks, the research field is not nearly as advanced as necessary to make a difference for most organisations (Greitzer et al., 2013). This signifies the need for further research to identify individual indicators of insider attacks by investigating less explored areas such as language use.

The findings of my thesis suggest that a focus on language can improve insider threat detection. This advances our psychological understanding of the language cues that insiders may exhibit and provides insight into how insider attacks can be detected. Theoretically, this advances our knowledge of the extent to which language can aid understanding of individual cognition and motivation. Practically, it opens up the potential for the development of language-based models of malintent that can be used in early-detection of insider threat. This early detection will help organisations prevent further losses.

Get in touch

We are keen to promote partnership; collaboration and employment opportunities for our students from day one.

Collaboration can take many forms – from co-developing the research a postgraduate student is undertaking for their PhD, to engaging a PhD student on a specific project that does not link directly to their PhD but uses their skills to address an issue.

If you are interested in engaging with this researcher please get in touch with them:

Research Supervisor: Beth Richardson
Student: Natasha Martlew

Interested in studying postgraduate research?

Research of national and international excellence is at the heart of academic life at the University of Central Lancashire. On completion of your research degree you should be in a very strong position for pursuing your chosen career.

Choose the research degree that is right for you