What Is a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF?

Woman working in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility

A Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility is specially designed to keep information secure.

If you work in government or are a government-related contractor, then you may already be familiar with SCIFs. A Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF, is a facility that is created specifically for storing, discussing, or electronically processing Sensitive Compartmented Information. This sensitive government information must be protected with the highest security infrastructure available. Let’s take a look at what goes into create a secure SCIF.

SCIF Wiring

Because of the high security measures, it’s important that all wiring that enters the SCIF ends there as well. This includes wiring for telephones, data, emergency systems, and even electrical power. The places where conduits enter the facility must be specially treated to minimize the chance of compromise. Any metallic materials that penetrate the SCIF perimeter, such as fire sprinkler systems, have to be grounded or use dielectric unions. Electromagnetic radio frequencies can even be installed to dissuade eavesdropping. This treatment helps to ensure that any wiring that permeates the perimeter will not be compromised.


The ductwork for SCIFs has very specific requirements. If the ductwork has opening larger than 96 square inches, then the opening must be equipped with steel man bars. Openings, ductwork, and ductwork breaks must all also be secured against audio and electronic emanations from leaving the space.

Access Control

A Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility must incorporate at least two types of door access control at perimeter doors. The first is for daily use during working hours, and the second is a more high security option for when the SCIF is left unattended at night. Doors must also meet local fire code requirements and be protected against leaking sound.

Intrusion Detection

Finally, the UL 2050 intrusion detection system must be installed with approved components. This ensures that the intrusion detection system can not be overridden by unauthorized personnel.

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This entry was posted on Monday, November 7th, 2016 at 5:15 pm . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.