The Importance of Physical Security


Physical Security in Detail

Protecting important data, confidential information, networks, software, equipment, facilities, company’s assets, and personnel is what physical security is about. There are two factors by which security can be affected. First attack by nature like a flood, fire, power fluctuation, etc. Though the information will not be misused, it is very hard to retrieve it and may cause permanent loss of data. Second is attack by the malicious party, which includes terrorism, vandalism, and theft. All the organization faces different kinds of physical security threats.

Physical security is very important, but it is usually overlooked by most organizations. It is necessary if you do not want anyone to snatch away your information or destroy it, in case of natural calamity. The reason could be anything, the attacker doing it for personal gain, financial gain, for seeking revenge or you were the vulnerable target available. If this security is not maintained properly, all the safety measures will be useless once the attacker gets through by gaining physical access. Though physical security is proving to be challenging than previous decades as there are more sensitive devices available (like USB drives, laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) that enables the stealing of data easy and smooth.

There are fewer measures used for physical security and no one pays heed to it as attention is mostly on technology-oriented security. This slip-up gives the attacker a chance to exploit data or open ports. They scheme plans of penetrating the network through unauthorized means. Though there are internal threats too, for example, employees that have access to all the areas of the company can steal the assets with ease.

There are many facilities provided for physical security with great advantages. First is perimeter security that includes mantrap, fences, electric fences, gates and turnstile. Safe locks with keys that are hard to duplicate. Badges are necessary for verifying the identity of any employee.

The great advantage is that criminals or attackers have to bypass through many layers of security to achieve their objective. As a result, it gets harder for them to accomplish their mission. There are many methods and equipment that are difficult to scale by an intruder.

List of some of the things that help maintain strong physical security
•    Intrusion detectors
•    CCTV, smart cards
•    Fire extinguishers
•    Guards
•    Suppression systems
•    Intrusion alarms
•    Motion detectors
•    Physical access
•    Chain link fence
•    Barbed wire 

A company needs administrative, technical, and physical control to run their organization smoothly. Administrative controls include construction, site location, emergency response and technical controls include CCTV, smart cards for access, guards while physical controls consist of intrusion alarms, perimeter security.

Physical security’s main objective is to protect the assets and facilities of the organization. So, the foremost responsibility of physical security is to safeguard employees since they are an important asset to the company. Their safety is the first priority followed by securing the facilities.

Physical security is usually overlooked when it comes to security. Most companies tend to take care of the technical and administrative aspects of security. All the firewalls, intrusion detector system, cryptography, and other security measures would be useless if someone were able to break in and steal the assets or important data.