Skip navigation
Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal


There are several measures for preventing an insider attack.

Exclude Potential insiders: Prior to granting access to sensitive material an employer can screen for undesirable characteristics and conduct that may be predisposed to or indicate motivation for such attacks.

  • Identity verification
  • Background checks - Criminal and Ideological
  • Investigating financial obligations and work history
  • Drug & alcohol testing

This may stop some malicious individuals from being hired, but is not sufficient to combat insiders who have tricked the system, or whose motivations shift after they have already gained access.

Remove Potential Insiders: To maintain security among these personnel, periodic background checks can be conducted again at random. Other programs can be implemented including, but not limited to:

  • Security awareness
  • Periodic background checks
  • Fitness for duty programs
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Human reliability programs
  • Employee satisfaction programs
  • Quality control programs

Minimize Insider Opportunities:  An organization can minimize the opportunity for malicious insiders to conduct attacks by limiting the access, authority, and knowledge of their employees.

  • The physical compartmentalization of facilities controls the number of people with physical access
  • Confidentiality and partitioning of information controls the number of people with access to sensitive information.
  • Any information pertaining to security measures in place or sensitive targets must be kept confidential as to mitigate the risks of malicious insiders gaining access to information that would make an attack significantly easier.
  • Inventory management
  • Restrict vital equipment areas

A strong nuclear security culture can also be a factor in reducing or mitigating insider threats.

Although these measures provide a solid foundation for preventing an insider attack, it is impossible to prevent 100% of insider attacks. As such, it is imperative to next implement a series of Protective measures. 

Page 15 / 17