Security clearance topics made headlines in 2014, from scrutiny of polygraph procedures to legislation to fight insider threats. Continuous monitoring became the new buzz in security clearance reform, and the Intelligence Community took on the rise of ISIS amid declining budgets. remains the best place for security clearance news, policy updates and information. Here is a round-up of the headlines that got your interest in 2014.

1. Overseas Contracting Opportunities in Iraq Still Significant Despite Drawdown

Did you know that the United States is currently paying for over 5,000 civilian contractors in Iraq? After the withdrawal of US troops in Dec. 2011, and the failure to negotiate a Status of Forces agreement (SOFA) with Iraq, it has fallen to civilians to fill in for the military. The number of contractors has fallen in the last year but still remains significant. And while most contractors are in non-combat roles, it is dangerous work.

2. How to Fail a Polygraph Examination – The Guilt Grabber

The easiest way to fail a polygraph examination is to lie, but that’s not the only way. Since its invention in 1921, a constant crusade among subjects of the “lie-detector test” has been how to fib and get away with it; a more pressing question, perhaps, is what happens when you tell the truth and it dings you anyway. The term of art among polygraph examiners for people who tell the truth but register a lie is “guilt grabber.”

3. Changes to Interim Secret Clearance Processes

Slightly longer processing times and a decline in the interim clearance approval rate coupled with the current effort to reduce the number of security clearances may have a significant impact on both large and small defense contractors.   Many defense contractors rely heavily on interim clearances to quickly fill positions on new classified contracts

4. Drone Operators Drive New Jobs for Cleared Vets

The job market for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is taking off, opening new career paths for cleared veterans interested in drone operator jobs and in associated positions.

5. The Difference Between Secret and Top Secret Security Clearance Investigations

If you already have a secret security clearance and apply for a job or position that requires a top secret security clearance, you’ll be required to complete a new background investigation. An ajudicator will review your secret security clearance investigation records, as well as the determination, however. While the investigations are different and separate, the adjudicative criteria – with the exception of “Foreign Influence” – are exactly the same.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer