Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Insider threats are billion-dollar opportunity

March 8, 2017 Laura Criste

This analysis was first available to Bloomberg Government subscribers. 

Organizations often say that employees are their greatest asset. Some, however, can be threats who “go rogue” or otherwise work to undermine mission objectives.

This is no different in the federal government, and agencies could commit more than $1 billion in fiscal 2017 to insider threat countermeasures, according to Bloomberg Government data.

How Bloomberg Government Defined the Market

BGOV defined an insider-threat market that shows how the government buys user authentication, employee monitoring and intrusion mitigation hardware, software and services. The definition of the market uses more than 115 keywords for programs, products and concepts, including “continuous monitoring,” “user monitoring” and “security information and event management.”

The findings include only unclassified contracts, but due to the nature of insider threats, there are probably many more in the classified or intelligence agency spaces.

What we Found

DHS leads the government in unclassified insider-threat obligations, with $234 million going to contractors in fiscal 2016. The Department of Defense obligated $203 million in the same year. Based on the Office of Management and Budget federal spending forecasts, the insider-threat market is forecasted to grow by 1.4 percent in fiscal 2017, with DHS and DOD increasing obligations and the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services decreasing them.

This forecast doesn’t include actual spending thus far or changes in agency priorities with the arrival of the Trump administration. Based on the high profile of insider threats and changes in legislation and requirements, Bloomberg Government expects the market to expand.

The compound annual growth rate for fiscal 2013 through 2016 would predict a 14 percent increase in obligations, and much of that would come from DHS. Both DHS and HHS would see large growth in insider-threat obligations, with an increase of 77 percent and 22 percent, respectively. DOD and VA contracts would decrease by 2 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Both OMB and CAGR forecasts are shown in the historical graph below. For either forecast, the federal insider threat market is about $1 billion dollars and growing.

The leading contractors from fiscal 2012 through fiscal 2016 are shown below. The top 10 vendors captured 43 percent of the insider threat market during this period, leaving opportunities for additional vendors.

The federal government seeks hardware, software and support for insider threats through an array of contracts. Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation, a services contract, was the largest in fiscal 2016. Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) IV and V and FirstSource II are primarily hardware vehicles. Sword & Shield Enterprise Security Inc., the vendor with the most fiscal 2012 through fiscal 2016 contract obligations, conducted 99 percent of its fiscal 2012 through fiscal 2016 prime contracting work on SEWP III, IV or V.

In a recent webinar, Bloomberg Government analysts presented information about the extent of insider threat, ways agencies are addressing the threat, and the size of the of the contractor market. Watch the replay: 

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