Avoiding Self-Defeat in Countering Insider Threats

In the counter-insider threat (CIT) world of the United States Department of Defense (DoD), the concept of a “behavioral indicator” is a primary basis for deciding whether an individual ought to be considered a threat to DoD resources. Examples of behaviors that are taken to indicate a potential threat range from hostility in the workplace, to being in debt, to breaking rules. Generally, behaviors are taken to be discrete data points, more or less self-evident, and separable from the person who is doing the behaving. Given this, understanding what people are doing and why is presented as a data problem requiring analysis that yields an objective result, rather than a problem of meaning requiring an interpretation that yields a judgment. The behavioral indicator concept justifies the idea that countering insider threats is about gathering seemingly disparate, discrete data and assembling it to reveal the truth about what an individual is really doing.

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