Archive for April 2013

Principles Of Maintaining Physical Security

Physical security consists of actions you take to protect,  property and assets from intrusion by unwanted visitors. There are three levels of security you need to work on,. they are the outside perimeter of your premises, the inside perimeter, and the interior of your building.  If you are able to implement at least two types of security measures at each of these levels, it is likely that you will have a robust physical security plan.

Physical security can also refer to the security of data that is stored in computers and many other electronic devices. This type of security is designed in an attempt to keep data secure, even if the physical device is in the wrong hands. Not only do you need to protect your physical assets, but increasingly, you need to protect your data, which can actually be far more valuable to an organization than their physical assets.

However, these types of security overlap, since if an intruder gets access to the inner level of your property, he or she is more far more likely to be able to also steal your valuable data.

The outside perimeter of your premises is your property line. To keep your outer perimeter secure, you must keep control of who is able to gain access to your  property.  Security measures here vary according to need and range from armed guards at a gate with the remainder of the property surrounded by a barbed wire fence, to a simple fence.  In deciding which  security measures are appropriate you need to consider their cost versus the potential risk of an intruder.

physical securityThere are 2 concepts that come into play when perimeter security is considered, they are territory reinforcement and  the control of natural access. Intruders want to feel as if they are controlling a particular situation when they come into and exit from an area. If they feel they are able to walk around unnoticed, they feel they are at low risk. This sense of access control can be reduced by marking and limiting the approaches to a structure and making sure all visitors must enter a defined area. Access control uses building and landscaped structures to funnel people into a defined space upon entering or exiting a facility. You are attempting to limit the ways people can enter and also to limit the number of escape routes that are possible.

Territorial reinforcement is the prevention of unauthorized entry into a particular area and to create a clearly defined distinction between private and public spaces. This will make intruders stand out when they are private places where they do not belong, because they will have difficulty blending in to their surroundings.

The inner perimeter of your premises are the walls, doors, and windows of your structure. The inner perimeter is normally protected with alarm systems, keys, locks, and surveillance cameras. Intruders are kept out of the building with locks, keys and electronic devices which control access electronically. When any type of perimeter security system is in place, it is vital that tight control is kept for all of they keys, whether they be physical or electronic keys.

Interior security is the last level of security. This is the  interior of your building. Quite often there are security cameras and motion sensing devices present. Security cameras are a great way to monitor the interior of your building and to record evidence of an intrusion for later use by law enforcement personnel. There can also be electronic access control devices within the structure to further limit the flow of human traffic.

Another thing that can really enhance security is to have redundant sources of electricity, voice, and data communications. This is because the best way for an intruder to be unnoticed in your facility is for them to first disable the electricity, and means of data communication. There should be underground electricity and data lines and they should enter the building in different locations. This is particularly true for data centers, that house huge amounts of sensitive and valuable corporate information.

To further enhance security in a structure it is desirable to have thick ( 12 inches or more) concrete walls that are reinforced with steel bars. Thus provides a barrier that is difficult to breach and it is not that costly to implement. In addition if you want to maintain the physical security of your structure, avoid having windows, or at least limit their use. Windows are relatively easy to breach and are a security hazard.

Installing crash barriers at entry points to your building is also a good idea. For corporate data centers or other structures that may be particularly sensitive targets, you should have guards check the underneath of all vehicles entering the facility for explosive devices. This is particularly relevant for delivery trucks.

Maintaining the physical security of sensitive buildings and data is a large and complex task, and the more valuable and sensitive your facility and data are, the more thorough your security measures must be.

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