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[Examples] The Best Practices in Physical Security

Your physical security should incorporate reliable tech solutions to protect your facilities against intrusions

What Is Physical Security?

Most organizations need to restrict access to certain areas within their premises. Hence, you need to adopt a set of security measures to grant access to authorized personnel only. Those security measures should be introduced in accordance with a broader plan to protect your equipment, resources, and any other assets within a production facility or office space. All these measures make your physical security strategy.

A viable physical security strategy is using both technology and security personnel to achieve its goals. You need to protect your assets from intruders, internal threats, cyber attacks, accidents and natural disasters, which in turn requires a mix of technology and in-person monitoring that requires placement of security staff.

For your preventive measures and countermeasures to be effective, you also need to introduce a security perimeter, whose size and scope may vary depending on your specific needs and possible threats.

Main Components of Physical Security

Physical security is always a component of a wider security strategy. Security experts agree that the three most important components of a physical security plan include access control, surveillance, and security testing.

Access control may start at the outer edge of your security perimeter. You can use fencing and video surveillance to monitor access to your facility and secure the outdoor area. Examples of a comprehensive access control system and strategy would include also use of advanced locks, access control cards or biometric authentication and authorization.

An example of physical security strategy detecting intruders in real time. Source: TechRepublic

Surveillance is another important component to consider. Modern security systems take advantage of intrusion detection sensors, heat sensors, and smoke detectors for protection against intrusions and accidents alike. Naturally, your security strategy should also envisage adoption of surveillance cameras and notification systems.

When disaster strikes, you need to act fast and in accordance with adopted procedures. That is why you need to test your disaster recovery plan on a regular basis. Drills should test your abilities to react both to natural disasters and to emergencies caused by inside or outside threats. You should also check for weak points concerning access to business critical resources such as server rooms, data centers, production lines, power equipment, and the like.

Examples of Best Practices for Successful Physical Security

The specific security practices you should implement when creating a viable physical security strategy would depend on the specifics of your premises and your core business. Nonetheless, working examples of security strategy and countermeasures in physical security have a number of common best practices.

  • Your first line of defense may include fenced walls or razor wires that are good in preventing the average by-passer from entering your security perimeter.
  • Protective barriers are used for preventing forced entry of persons or vehicles, and should always be complemented by a sort of gates and other points of security checks.
  • Locks are a method to enable only individuals with a key or access control card to open or lock a door or gate. Locks may be connected to a more comprehensive security monitoring system.
  • Your physical security should incorporate surveillance cameras and sensors that track movements and changes in environment. You also need security lighting to ensure all monitored areas are visible at any given moment.
  • Security guards should cover all entry points to your facility while also securing business critical areas indoors. Water-, smoke- and heat detectors, as well as firefighting systems are your protection against water leakages and fire.
  • Your last point of defense against unauthorized access is the use of smart cards, biometric identification, and in-person clearance aimed at allowing only authorized personnel get into a restricted area. In any event, you need to assess all possible scenarios and study past examples of successful physical security procedures before implementing feasible countermeasures for your facilities.
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