A New Year’s goal of the federal office responsible for averting employee leaks is to make a career out of catching so-called insider threats.

It is a delicate task to simultaneously guard hard-working federal personnel and expose the bad apples. And it takes different talents than those one would find in a counterintelligence analyst, human resources professional or information security professional. The insider threat discipline melds all those disciplines.

“It’s a privilege to work in that program. And the only reason that you are there is to help protect your colleagues, not to out them. So, we’ve got to professionalize that workforce of people who do this for a living,” said Patricia Larsen, co-director of the National Insider Threat Task Force. “They have to view themselves as part of a community.”

Larsen was speaking at a forum hosted by Nextgov earlier this month.

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