Security Beyond Borders

This glossary is intended to be part of the security toolkit for users of this site.  It has been gathered from a number of sources and aims to be a collection of internationally agreed definitions of global security basic terminology.  It is a work in progress and as such you’re invited to contribute your own additions, redefinitions and overall comments on improvement.




24 Hour Rule: International security program originated from the US requiring upload of cargo data 24 hours before loading on the ship

3PL:  Third Party Logistics

419:  Four-One-Nine is the Nigerian criminal code for a scam that is not only widespread but deadly.  One receives an unsolicited email or snail mail stating that millions of US dollars need to be removed from Nigeria and you have been selected by government officials to assist.  Naturally, you will be amply rewarded for the assistance by retaining a percentage of the funds transferred; however, in order to facilitate the procedure your financial assistance is required up front.  This scam is far too extensive to detail here.  Please go to SCAMSPEAK: NIGERIAN SCAMS for more information and what to do if you have been a victim, have received any contact as described above, or intend doing business in Nigeria.

809: This is an overseas area code.  This little bit of nastiness comes tapping on your phone bill in two ways: (1) You receive an email or regular mail that warns of an impending charge to your credit card or an impending law suit, or other dire situation, and the return phone number is in the 809 area code.   When you call the number, the person on the other end of the line either does not speak English well (or is faking it), has to repeatedly put you on hold, speak to another person, or a combination of the above that will keep you on line to the tune of $25.00 a minute.  (2)  You receive an 809 area code phone number on your pager with the results being the same as above.


ABA transit number: a code developed by the American Bankers Association (ABA) which facilitates the routing of a check back to the bank of origin. The code, which appears on the face of the check, indicates the city or state of the bank it was drawn against, the name of the bank, and the Federal Reserve Bank District. ABA transit numbers are useful in tracing cashed or deposited checks. The code key can be obtained from the ABA.

Access control: the control of persons, vehicles and materials through entrances and exits of a protected area; an aspect of security that often utilizes hardware systems and specialized procedures to control and monitor movements into, out of, or within a protected area. Access to various areas may be limited to place or time, or a combination of both.

Adulterate: make a drug inferior or impure by adding an improper substance; for example, the cutting of cocaine with sugars and cheap local anesthetics to make more of the substance available for sale. Drugs are often adulterated by more active (and less expensive) substances to make users think they are getting a more potent drug.

Advance fee scheme: a scheme designed to obtain fees in advance for services the promoter has no intention of providing. Usually the promoter will claim to have means of obtaining buyers for one’s business, property, securities, or other assets, or to have access to sources of loan financing.

AEO: is defined as: “a party involved in the international movement of goods in whatever function that has been approved by or on behalf of a national Customs administration as complying with WCO or equivalent supply chain security standards. Authorized Economic Operators include inter alia manufacturers, importers, exporters, brokers, carriers, consolidators, intermediaries, ports, airports, terminal operators, integrated operators, warehouses and distributors”

Affidavit: a written document that is used to support or justify the issuance of a search warrant. An affidavit is nothing more than a written statement made under oath. It sets forth details that provide the issuing judge with enough information for him to conclude that a crime was committed and that a search of a certain place will probably reveal the presence of some evidence pertaining to that crime. The affidavit therefore provides the type of information that is sometimes called probable cause.

Affinity Fraud: involves con artists who target members of their own race, nationality or religious affiliation and exploit their status as members of the group to solicit investments in fraudulent schemes. For more information, see How to Avoid Investment Scams that Target Groups, brought to you by the SEC

After action reviews: (AAR) are presentations or discussions following an event or activity by those involved with, or interested in, that event and whose purpose is to learn from it. An AAR should describe what was intended to happen, what was actually accomplished, what mistakes were made, what lessons were learned, and how participation in similar events might be improved in the future. They may be recorded in a variety of media as a form of reference for future use. Briefings and AARs (also referred to as Debriefings) are excellent learning tools and help to instill an information-sharing culture. Their effectiveness depends to a great extent on accurately identifying the most appropriate audience.

Agent provocateur: an individual who is specifically hired by an organization to create trouble in a rival organization; an undercover operative or a person acting on behalf of the organization, who surreptitiously seeks to incite others to prohibited behavior so that the authorities may intervene or act in favor of the organization.

Algorithm: a simple set of rules arranged in a logical order that will solve all instances of a particular problem. In security applications, combinations of sensor inputs may be categorized into specific patterns which trigger certain annunciation responses as defined by equipment circuitry or software.

Alibi: a defense used by one charged with a crime that he or she could not have committed the crime because he or she was elsewhere at the time.

Altimeter bomb: a bomb (frequently homemade) triggered by the change in atmospheric pressure relative to the altitude and the earth’s surface.

Alphanumeric key pad: a device in an alarm system similar to a push button telephone dial. The key pad generates a signal (to release a door lock, for example) when the buttons are pressed in a coded sequence.

Analog communication: a form of communication consisting of a continuously varying waveform. An electrical signal on a telephone circuit is typically an analog waveform.

ANFO: a low explosive made of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil.

Analysis paralysis: is a colloquial expression that implies that one’s decision-making ability is severely impaired by exposure to overwhelming volumes of Information; it is a symptom of Information fatigue syndrome.

Anti-personnel bomb: a bomb intended to primarily injure or kill people, frequently home-made as in a pipe bomb, and designed to fragment upon explosion.

Anti-pick latch: a spring latch bolt having an attached parallel bar that prevents a thin-bladed tool from exerting pressure to force open the latch

Anti-shim latch: has a mechanism in the lock which prevents the bolt from being pried back into the door.

Armored car company: a company which, for itself or under contract with another, transports currency, securities, valuables, jewelry, food stamps, or any other item that requires secured and insured delivery from one place to another with armed personnel.

Arson: the intentional damaging or destruction, or attempted damaging or destruction, by means of fire or explosion of the property of another without the consent of the owner, or of one’s own property or that of another with the intent to defraud, or attempting the above acts.

Assets: Any real or personal property, tangible or intangible, that a company or individual owns that can be given or assigned a monetary value. Intangible property includes things such as goodwill, proprietary information, and related property.

Audio discriminator: a sound detection and evaluation device capable of discriminating between different types of sounds such as the difference between a passing truck and breaking glass.

Audio listen-in device: a device that monitors the sounds at a protected facility to determine when an intrusion occurs and/or to determine the nature of the intrusion after it has been detected by other means. Audio monitoring is typically an arrangement of microphone, amplifier, and receiver that allows a person at a separate location to listen for suspicious sounds.

Audit trail: is a sequential record of system activities sufficient to enable the reconstruction, review, and examination of the sequence of events in the path of a transaction from its inception to final results.

Authentication: is the process by which an individual confirms his or her identity, usually by means of a signature, an official Document, a personal identification number (PIN), a Password, a digital certificate, or some other acceptable means.

Authorized Economic Operator (AEO): this European Union program is comparable to the US Customs Trade Partnership against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program.  Since its launch on January 1, 2008, the EU AEO program has been quickly enacted among its 27 member countries and is now firmly established as the cornerstone of importer and exporter security practices. The aims of the AEO program include upgrading the security of the supply chain, while contributing to trade facilitation, and reforming and modernizing customs around the world to maintain or develop national competitiveness in international trade.



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