SCIF Construction-are Standards Meetable?

SCIF Construction-are Standards Meetable?

SCIF Construction-are Standards Meetable?

SCIF Construction-are Standards Meetable?  Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIFs) must be built to very strict standards!  SCIF security requirements and construction specs are based on many factors.  Included in the list are facility purpose, surveillance risk, and physical location of the SCIF.  Sensitive information exchanges, sound damping, and Personnel security are also important parts of the equation.  The final assessment will be made by Accrediting Officer (AO) and Site Security Manager (SSM), determining technical measures for each SCIF application.  The Project’s Certified TEMPEST Technical Authority (CTTA) will assess the requirements, providing RF Shielding requirements and design.  TEMPEST is a National Security Agency (NSA) specification and NATO certification that refers to monitoring information systems for leaking emanations, including unintentional radio or electrical signals, sounds and vibrations.

SCIF Construction-are Standards Meetable? In an informative article on SCIF construction in In Compliance Magazine June 2022, ETS Lindgren’s Joel Kellog writes: A SCIF constructed to the requirements of ICS/ICD-705 will often not achieve the NSA standard 94-96 RF Shielding Performance.   The ICS/ICD -705 construction standard typically results in shielding material perforations, degrading the shielding performance below the shielding requirements required by NSA 94-96.  The requirements of construction seem to make the requirements of RF Shielding performance impossible to attain!  This makes achieving RF security as impossible to attain as floating a leaky boat!

SCIF Construction-are standards meetable?   Given the way the standards are mutually exclusive, meeting the standards seems unattainable.  The big trouble areas are electrical and other wiring should be carrying filtered power or else metal electric wires will act as antennas, coupling with internal RF to the outside.  RF Shielded windows typically are not adequate in RF shielding compared to shielded walls, resulting in poor performance.  Fiber optic cables passed through wave guides might offer a solution for secure communication.  Avoiding penetration of the RF shielding materials, particularly by conductive materials (plumbing and wiring) is paramount!  Currently, there is no RF Door on the market that meets the acoustical and security requirements for a SCIF and RF Shielding performance required by NSA-94-106.  The standards should be modified so that it is possible to construct an effective SCIF!

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