Sandia National Laboratories

Badge Office
Personnel Clearances
Export/Import Control
Facility Clearance
- FSO Responsibilities
- Flowdown of Requirements
Foreign Nationals
International Travel
KAFB Access
Operations Security (OPSEC)
Official Use Only
Prohibited/Controlled Items
Random Drug Testing
Reporting Requirements
Security Tools

SNL Security Contacts


What is OPSEC?

  • Government acronym for Operations Security
  • Five-step process / Simplified three-step
  • Supplements compliance-based security disciplines
  • Industry-wide (private and govt.)
  • Applies to programs and activities at SNL and subcontractors
  • Applies to programs and activities at SNL and subcontractors
  • Enhances mission success and operational efficiency

Goals of OPSEC

  • Identify vulnerabilities in programs and activities
  • Determine the impact on the loss of critical information
  • Where appropriate, provide OPSEC measures to protect the information from inadvertent release or intentional disclosure
  • To raise operations security awareness
  • Make intelligence or information gathering more difficult
  • To attempt to stop adversaries from obtaining classified or unclassified sensitive and critical information
  • Determine overall risk associated to the loss of critical information and assist managers making risk-management-based decisions

The OPSEC Process

  • Determine critical information
  • Analyze the threat
  • Determine vulnerabilities
  • Analyze the risk
  • Develop and implement countermeasures

OPSEC Good Practices

  • Have an OPSEC Plan
  • Properly handle and destroy sensitive and critical unclassified information
  • Be aware that phones, faxes, radios, and mobile devices (smart phones, tablet, watches, fitness devices, etc.) are subject to interception or other exploitation
  • Be security-minded when doing activities
  • Use the most secure means of communicating
  • Guard against unsolicited inquiries to obtain unclassified sensitive and critical information (by person, phone, email, or social sites)
  • Ensure unclassified sensitive and critical information is not put in recycling or trash but properly destroyed as soon as possible
  • When off of SNL premises, secure your badge and keep it out of site
  • Don’t reveal unclassified sensitive and critical info on Internet social networking sites and other apps
  • Avoid listing your SNL association
  • Observe the need-to-know principle
  • Be careful of applications you install on mobile devices
  • Be adversary aware, the threat is real

OPSEC Simplified

Three Steps: Think. Assess. Protect.

  • Think about the information you need to protect and the adversaries who want it
  • Assess the ways they can acquire the information and risk if it is lost
  • Protect the information by implementing appropriate OPSEC Measures

Helpful Resources

The following brochures, published by SNL Safeguards and Security Center are helpful resources in explaining the OPSEC process, both at work and at home.

The OPSEC Program Office has lots of awareness information and material. Contact us for more information.