It stands to reason that the world’s Top Secrets would require somewhat more attention than a deadbolt and a cranky Doberman.

Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities – or SCIFs – are where government personnel and politicians hunker down to discuss and/or process classified material. These virtually impenetrable safe rooms can be permanent structures, or fully functional mobile units, and are also used to store aforementioned data when not in use.

The blueprints for such spaces are intense, to say the least. In fact, SCIF compliance mandates involve a byzantine series of doctrines and directives, all with various acronyms and numeric identifiers.

Today, the Intelligence Community Directive 705-01, Physical and Technical Security Standards for Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities, specifies the bells & whistles for SCIF construction. ICD 705 superseded the previous list of standards known as the Director of Central Intelligence Directive (DCID) 6/9, back in 2011.

Additionally, computer systems operating within a SCIF facility must conform to rules established by ICD 503, while equipment must conform to TEMPEST (Telecommunications Electronics Materials Protected from Emanating Spurious Transmissions) emanations specification as directed by a Certified TEMPEST Technical Authority (CTTA).

Getting tongue-tied yet?

The bottom line is that to receive the accreditation necessary for operation, a SCIF must comply with a series of stringent construction guidelines that outline the interior and exterior infrastructure in explicit detail.

SCIF compliance mandates include, but are far from limited, to the following:

  • Intruder alerts: All areas providing access must be equipped with Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) using UL 2050-approved components. A UL 2050 certified contractor must install them.
  • One way in, one way out: The SCIF’s entrance and exit door must be built to vault like thickness, and all hinges and locks must adhere to stringent requirements set forth in ICD 705. At least two access control technologies must be implemented for perimeter access. Door gaskets, door sets, and sound attenuation materials must achieve a STC45 level or higher. SCIFs should be constructed without windows, whenever possible. In the event that windows are installed, they must not open.
  • All wired up: All electrical power systems – including telephones and security systems, must be dedicated to the SCIF. Utilities that enter into the SCIF must terminate there.
  • A new duct: Ventilation systems must be equipped with barriers preventing intrusion, and inspection ports must be installed.
  • Quiet time: All sounds within the SCIF must be barely audible by human standards from the SCIF’s exterior. Components must achieve a Sound Transmission Class of either 45 or 50 via the use of suppression or sound masking devices on vents, doors, walls, windows, floors, and any other potentially vulnerable areas.

Sounds tricky, doesn’t it?

That’s why Secom, LLC remains one of a select few providers authorized to install SCIFs, secured containers, and closed areas throughout the country. We also provide UL 2050 and DoD monitoring services for existing SCIFs, typically with no upfront costs.

Better yet, our specialists can service any government security system within a 4-hour radius of our locations in Columbia, Md., and Virginia Beach. Contact us today to inquire about our free quote.