Security Glossary - B

This glossary has been created to assist security professionals in defining security terms commonly used by the profession and the industry, worldwide. It is a developing list that will be maintained, and where appropriate, modified, and changed over time. Terms borrowed from related fields, such as engineering, investigations, safety, etc. will be included when deemed necessary for the security professional.


The definition's source is cited in brackets [ ] following the definition. View the key to all cited reference sources.

It is NOT our goal to publish this glossary in print since it is intended to be a current online reference (on the ASIS website) to serve the security professional on an ongoing basis.

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background screening

An inquiry into the history and behaviors of an individual under consideration for employment, credit, access to sensitive assets (such as national defense information), and other reasons.

background verification/check

The process of checking an individual’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living for consideration of employment, promotion, access to sensitive assets (such as national information), or for continued employment. Elements of a background verification/check can vary widely, and may include information from credit bureaus, court record repositories, departments of motor vehicles, past or present employers and educational institutions, governmental occupational licensing or registration entities, business or personal references, and any other source required to verify information that was voluntarily supplied.  


A statutory procedure by which a debtor obtains financial relief and undergoes a judicially supervised reorganization or liquidation of the debtor’s assets for the benefit of creditors.


A natural or man-made obstacle to the movement/direction of persons, animals, vehicles, or materials.
[ASIS GDL FPSM-2009]  [ANSI/ASIS PAP.1-2012]

building envelope

The separation between the interior and the exterior environments of a building. It serves as the outer shell to protect the indoor environment as well as to facilitate its climate control. Building envelope design is a specialized area of architectural and engineering practice that draws from all areas of building science and indoor climate control. 

business continuity

A comprehensive managed effort to prioritize key business processes, identify significant threats to normal operation, and plan mitigation strategies to ensure effective and efficient organizational response to the challenges that surface during and after a crisis.
[ASIS GDL BC 01 2005]

business continuity plan

An ongoing process supported by senior management and funded to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to identify the impact of potential losses, maintain viable recovery strategies and plans, and ensure the continuity of operations through personnel training, plan testing, and maintenance. 
[ASIS GDL TASR 04 2008]

business impact analysis

A management level financial analysis that identifies the impacts of losing an organization’s resources. The analysis measures the effect of resource loss and escalating losses over time in order to provide reliable data upon which to base decisions on mitigation, recovery, and business continuity strategies.  
[ASIS GDL BC 01 2005]

business process enabler

​An individual who can blend “common sense” control with efficient and productive business processes and procedures; requires creative problem solving and business individual who can blend “common sense” control with efficient and productive business processes and procedures; requires creative problem solving and business acumen.
[ASIS CSO.1-2008]