Security Glossary - U

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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U.S. citizenship

​“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” [Amendment XIV, Section 1, Clause 1 to the United States Constitution]

U.S. person
(1) ITAR Definition: U.S. person means a person (as defined in § 120.14 of this part) who is a lawful permanent resident as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20) or who is a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). It also means any corporation, business association, partnership, society, trust, or any other entity, organization or group that is incorporated to do business in the United States. It also includes any governmental (federal, state or local) entity.  It does not include any foreign person as defined in § 120.16 of this part. (United States Department of State)
(2) EAR Definition:  (a) For purposes of §§744.6, 744.10, and 744.11 of the EAR, the term U.S. person includes: (1) Any individual who is a citizen of the United States, a permanent resident alien of the United States, or a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3); (2) Any juridical person organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States, including foreign branches; and (3) Any person in the United States.  (b) See also §§740.9 and 740.14, and parts 746 and 760 of the EAR for definitions of “U.S. person” that are specific to those parts.” (Code of Federal Regulations Title 15 chapter VII, subchapter C, 2001)

(3) E.O. 12333 Definition: “United States person means a United States citizen, an alien known by the intelligence agency concerned to be a permanent resident alien, an unincorporated association substantially composed of United States citizens or permanent resident aliens, or a corporation incorporated in the United States, except for a corporation directed and controlled by a foreign government or governments.” (E.O. 12333)

​Outcomes are not clearly identified, defined, or known and may be subject to change.
Note:  The state, even partial, of deficiency of information related to, understanding or knowledge of, an event, its consequence, or likelihood.

undesirable event

​(1) Any event that has the potential to cause loss of life, harm to tangible or intangible assets, or negatively impact human rights and fundamental freedoms of internal or external stakeholders.
[ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-2012]

(2) Any event that has the potential to cause a negative impact on the achievement of objectives or assets whether tangible or intangible.

uninterruptible power supply (UPS)

​A system that provides continuous power to an alternating current (AC) line within prescribed tolerances; protects against over-voltage conditions, loss of primary power, and intermittent brownouts. Usually utilized in conjunction with an emergency generator.

use of force continuum

​The force applied may be increased or decreased as a continuum relative to the response of the adversary, using the amount of force required to compel compliance.

  • Note 1:  The amount of force used should be the minimum amount needed to eliminate the threat presented, thereby minimizing the risk and severity of any injury that may occur.
  • Note 2:  Escalation/de-escalation of force response with a level of force should be appropriate to the situation at hand, acknowledging that the response may move from one part of the continuum to another in a matter of seconds.

[ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-2012] [ANSI/ASIS PSC.4-2013]