Security Glossary - V

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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value chain

​The series of functions, processes, or activities, from raw materials to the eventual end-user that creates and builds value at every step in order to deliver a product or service.


​Confirm, by an independent and authoritative source, the correctness and accuracy of information listed on the eApplication or provided by the Subject or other sources to the requesting agency or Investigative Service Provider. (Joint Security Clearance Reform Team, ONCIX, 2013)​

video surveillance

​A surveillance system in which a signal is transmitted to monitors/recording, and control equipment.  Includes closed-circuit television (CCTV) and network-based video systems.
[ASIS GDL FPSM-2009]  [ANSI/ASIS PAP.1-2012]

violence risk assessment

(1) Also termed a threat assessment and risk assessment.  A violence risk assessment refers to the investigative and analytical process followed by a professional qualified by education, training, or experience to determine the nature and level of risk of violence presented by a person and the steps that could be taken to respond to, manage, and mitigate the risk. A violence risk assessment remains distinct from a fitness for duty examination and a violence risk screening.

(2) Refers to the investigative and analytical process followed by a specifically qualified professional to determine the nature of the threat and level of risk of violence presented by an individual and the steps to be taken to mitigate the risk. Also termed a threat assessment.
[ASIS GDL WPV 09 2005]

violence risk screening

​A violence risk screening refers to the investigative and analytic process followed by a threat management team to make a gross and general determination of whether particular behavior should be viewed as generating a concern for possible violence and thereby should be treated under an organization’s threat management protocols.  A violence risk screening remains distinct from a violence risk assessment which requires specifically-trained and qualified personnel.

vital records

​Records or documents, for legal, regulatory, or operational purposes, that if irretrievably damaged, destroyed, or lost, would materially impair the organization’s ability to continue business operations.
[ASIS GDL BC 01 2005]


​(1) Intrinsic properties of something that create susceptibility to a source of risk that can lead to a consequence.
[ASIS SPC.1-2009]  [ANSI/ASIS PAP.1-2012]
(2) Intrinsic properties of something resulting in susceptibility to a risk source that can lead to a consequence. 

vulnerability assessment

(1) Process of identifying and quantifying something that creates susceptibility to a source of risk that can lead to a consequence.
[ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-2012]

​(2) The process of identifying and quantifying vulnerabilities.
[ASIS SPC.1-2009]  [ANSI/ASIS PAP.1-2012]