What is a SCIF?

Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (pronounced “skiff”)


Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (pronounced “skiff”), a U.S. Department of Defense term for a secure room. It can be a secure room or a data center that guards against electronic surveillance and suppresses data leakage of sensitive military and security information. SCIFs are used to deny unau­tho­rized per­son­nel, such as for­eign intel­li­gence ser­vices or corporate spies, the oppor­tu­nity for unde­tected entry into facil­i­ties for the exploita­tion of sen­si­tive activ­i­ties.

Other industry definitions include:

Common Industry Definitions


Access Con­trol System


The Contiguous or Continental United States are the 48 U.S. states on the continent of North America that are south of Canada and north of Mexico, plus the District of Columbia.


Cognizant Security Authority



Construction Security Plan – A plan outlining security protective measures that will be applied to each phase of the construction project. Allow us to help you during your planning stage!


DCID 6/9

Direc­tor of Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Direc­tive 6/9. To read the Directive online, click here.


Fixed Facil­ity Checklist



Facil­ity Secu­rity Officer. FSOs are usually in charge of handling security at government buildings and other public facilities. They are responsible for facility security, including making sure that anyone accessing the property has a need and/or legal right to be on the premises.



ICD 705

Intel­li­gence Com­mu­nity Direc­tive 705 Version 1.5.1 — The most cur­rent direc­tives to SCIFs. To read the Directives online, 705-1.5.1.


Intru­sion Detec­tion System. As part of a well-crafted security infrastructure, IDSs monitor for malicious directives, intrusion attempts, suspicious activities, or policy violations and produces reports to a designated recipient. They can also be used to aid in identifying problems with security policies, documenting existing threats, and deterring individuals from security policy violations.



Outside the Contiguous or Continental United States.





A Special Access Program Facility is an accredited area, room, group of rooms, buildings, or installation where SAP may be stored, used, discussed, and/or electronically processed.


SID Documentation

Security In Depth documentation is for the layers of protection offered at the site, such as security fencing or walls, roving guards, marine security guards, CCTV coverage, and controlled and/or limited access buffers to the facility.



Identify plans to secure construction site, to include any proposed fences, guards, CSTs, escorts, etc.





Spe­cial Secu­rity Officer. SSOs assist in the management and installation of security programs at their specific location, including conducting background checks on employees, and are usually with the military and the Transportation Security Administration.




A codename referring to investigations and studies of compromising emission. Compromising emanations are unintentional intelligence-bearing signals which, if intercepted and analyzed, may disclose the information transmitted, received, handled, or otherwise processed by any information-processing equipment. Compromising emanations consist of electrical, mechanical, or acoustical energy intentionally or by mishap unintentionally emitted by any number of sources within equipment/systems which process national security information. The term TEMPEST is often used broadly for the entire field of Emission Security or Emanations Security (EMSEC), and is a codename only, not an acronym.


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