Operations Security

What Does Operations Security Mean?

Operations security (OPSEC) is a process that involves the identification and protection of generally unclassified critical information or processes that can be used by a competitor or adversary to gain real information when pieced together. Although the information sought under OPSEC isn’t classified, it could give a competitor or other adversary an advantage. OPSEC focuses on the identification and protection of information that could give enemies clues or capabilities to put one at a disadvantage.

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Techopedia Explains Operations Security

OPSEC is a strategy used in risk management that enables a manager to view operations or projects from the perspective of competitors or enemies. The key concept of this approach is to look at one’s own activities from the outside and try to piece together readily observable or obtainable information. If you can easily piece together what you are trying to do from the information available, it’s likely that others can too. The solution to this problem is subtle misinformation or total information classification. This happens quite often in the consumer electronics industry, where analysts and tech journalists try to find out what devices a company will release next based on information they can easily retrieve, such as part shipments, employee interviews, and even teasers from the companies themselves. Often these companies try to run a misinformation campaign to intentionally put journalists off track, as well as their competitors, hoping to save some surprises for a new product’s official launch.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.