Magazine article Security Management

A Little TSCM

Magazine article Security Management

A Little TSCM

Article excerpt

Changing worldwide markets and the need for instant international business communication leave businesses at risk every day because these communications can be inadvertently or deliberately intercepted by competitors. CIA Director William Webster has established a task force to monitor a new form of warfare-, economic competition from abroad, indicating the severity of the situation. Additional concern is created by Eastern Bloc countries as they move toward democracy and develop closer ties to Western Europe. They need to obtain manufacturing technology if they are to become producers and suppliers of consumer goods to Western European and other countries.

Every effort to minimize the exposure of sensitive information and reduce the chance of communications compromise should be explored. This process includes evaluating your company's communications security as part of an overall program to safeguard proprietary information.

Technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) inspections should be conducted in areas such as corporate offices, government facilities, and off-site management and board meeting locations where proprietary or classified information is discussed.

The extent of the inspections differs based on the information provided concerning each site, but as much advance notice as possible is recommended for any inspection, regardless of its size or complexity. Planning allows the TSCM provider to acquire any special equipment and personnel required to do the job properly.

Off-site meetings have special requirements that can be satisfied by proper planning. The TSCM provider should be contacted with inspection requirements and duties via a communications medium separate from the location targeted for inspection.

The following information is a sample of the details the TSCM provider should be furnished with concerning an inspection site: * the number of phones, their manufacturer, and their model numbers * the number and size of rooms * the location of rooms in relation to each other * the number of floors and buildings involved * the type of ceiling (for example, movable or fixed) * the types of audiovisual equipment, communications equipment, fax equipment, computers, or other special equipment on-site * the forms of electronic communications and networks in use on- and off-site, including local area networks, microwave links, and satellite teleconferencing

The TSCM provider should include specific duties in its inspections. For example, radio frequency spectrum analyses should be conducted. These can be performed using a tunable countermeasures receiver or spectrum analyzer.

Special techniques such as subcarrier and frequency hopping must also be addressed. All signals must be identified as either emanating from a legitimate source, such as an FM broadcast station not in the area investigated, or from the surveyed area. Electronic emissions from computers and other communication and audiovisual equipment must be evaluated to prevent accidental or deliberate information interception.

Telephone instruments and telephone lines in the investigation areas should be examined with a telephone analyzer, a time domain reflectometer, and a TSCM audio-amplifier. These check for devices connected to the telephone line or telephone instrument that allow phone conversation interception or room audio to be heard when the phone is not in use. Phones should also be disassembled and inspected for foreign devices and nonstandard wiring.

Telephone satellite terminals and frame rooms as well as station and distribution cables in the areas of concern should be inspected. …

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