In today’s world, security is of utmost importance and its implementation is crucial in all areas. Physical security measures are one such aspect that has gained significant attention recently. They primarily involve the use of physical barriers to protect from any unauthorized access to a particular area or building.
It is equally important to understand what does not qualify as a physical security measure. Failing to recognize this can lead to poor security planning and execution resulting in compromised security vulnerabilities. This blog post shall discuss various aspects that do not constitute a physical security measure, but often get mistaken for one.
“Security is not a product, but a process. It’s not about what you have, but what you do.”
Scanning through CCTV footage, facial recognition software, fire prevention equipment, or cybersecurity are few of many attempts made to enhance security infrastructure operations daily. Unfortunately, these measures differ extensively from physical security measures despite popular perceptions – leading to fatal gaps in securing elements prone to violent threats affecting human life or property damage from thefts.
This article will guide you through different sectors where people assume wrongfully on considering them as ‘physical security measures,’ how they add value concerning overall Security architecture, and why we should never rely solely upon single security measures for safeguarding our surroundings. So let us dive deep into the discussion of identifying What Is Not A Physical Security Measure? And clarify existing misunderstandings.
Education and Training
Employee Training Programs
Ensuring a well-trained workforce can be considered one of the most important aspects of security. Employee training programs create awareness among employees about the potential threats that may target their organizations and how they should respond to those incidents.
“Training is not only a key component of cyber preparedness but also a critical element of an overall cybersecurity strategy.” – Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Continuing Education Requirements
Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving field, and education requirements for employees in this area should reflect the same standard. Continuing education provides employees an opportunity to brush up on or learn new skills that will help them cope with any new risks posed by hackers and malicious insiders alike.
“It is essential that our technical professionals stay current with knowledge and techniques used in contemporary information technology systems.”- Carnegie Mellon University
Security Awareness Training
A comprehensive security awareness program trains employees to identify and report suspicious individuals, activities, and emails. By the end of the training session, the employee should understand organizational policies and procedures as well as their role and responsibilities related to securing data.
“Effective internal controls require employees’ engagement, attention, and understanding of policies and procedures” – Cyber Security & Infrastructure Security Agency(CISA).
Security Incident Response Training
In today’s high-risk environment, it’s not uncommon for players in Information Technology functions within firms to face targeted attacks. The organization’s best defense if to regularly train IT personnel using penetration testing exercises that simulate possible breach attempts or hack calls. Thus, providing a way to practice responses under stress and enhance response times when faced with real-world scenarios; resulting in more rapid recovery outcomes that mitigate security breaches.
“An incident response plan is only effective if all members of the team are aware of their roles, responsibilities, and how to communicate effectively in high-pressure situations.” – SANS Institute
Access Control Policies
Access Control Policy Overview
An access control policy is a set of rules put in place to regulate who can have access to certain areas, resources or information. The primary objective of an access control policy is to protect sensitive data and physical locations from unauthorized access and manipulation.
The policy outlines the various levels of authorization for employees, vendors, contractors, visitors, guests, and other stakeholders. It specifies the roles and responsibilities of those authorized to access specific areas and data, as well as the measures that must be taken to prevent security breaches and violations.
In essence, an access control policy describes how people should behave when interacting with important company assets. Ideally, it incorporates both physical and logical controls aimed at safeguarding information systems, data centers, premises, and other valuable resources from cybercriminals, vandals, natural disasters, and internal threats.
Access Control Policy Implementation
The implementation of an access control policy involves several stages that vary depending on the level of security required. However, there are some general principles that apply to all organizations irrespective of size or industry.
Firstly, before implementing a policy, it’s critical to identify your organization’s most valuable assets and their location. Determine which individuals will be responsible for accessing these high-value targets and what they are allowed to do once inside. This stage also involves evaluating existing infrastructure, such as locks, alarm systems, card readers, CCTV cameras, among others, to ensure they meet modern standards.
Secondly, determine the right authentication method(s) to use based on the sensitivity of the asset involved. For example, biometric authentication may be used for highly classified compartments, while passwords may suffice for less sensitive areas. In addition, consider using multi-factor authentication (MFA), like one-time passwords (OTP), in areas that require extra protection.
Thirdly, establish clear guidelines on the acceptable use of information systems and resources to minimize security breaches. An access control policy should encompass both physical and digital measures aimed at preventing unauthorized individuals from accessing sensitive data through various channels such as email, cloud storage, removable media, and social engineering attacks.
An access control policy is an essential component for safeguarding company assets. It provides a roadmap for employees, contractors, visitors, or any other stakeholder with authorized access to carry out their duties safely and securely. Remember that access control policies are not just about putting up barriers, but also enabling efficient workflows while keeping potential threats at bay.
Firewalls and Encryption
Firewall Implementation and Configuration
Many businesses rely on firewalls as a primary line of defense against cyberattacks. Simply put, a firewall monitors incoming and outgoing traffic to your network and – depending on how it’s set up – blocks certain kinds of traffic while allowing others through.
While firewalls are integral parts of an overall cybersecurity plan, they aren’t foolproof. One key reason for this is that any given firewall has its own set of vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit if they know what they’re doing.
The good news is, there are ways you can improve the security of your firewall. For instance, you could install updates regularly to make sure any recent vulnerabilities have been patched. You could also use stricter access controls for anyone trying to manage your firewall settings.
Encryption Protocols and Standards
Virtually every website you see in 2021 uses some form of encryption, which scrambles the information being transmitted between your computer and the site. HTTPS:// (as opposed to HTTP://) and VPNs are two common forms of encryption used by websites and individuals respectively. But how exactly does encryption work? Here’s a quick overview:
- A sender wants to transmit encrypted data to a receiver.
- The sender generates a complex mathematical equation (a “key”) which will be used to scramble the data.
- The sender shares the key with the receiver via a secured connection or previously verified method.
- The receiver then decrypts the message using the same key. Without the key, even if a hacker intercepts the data transferred, accessing its content is impossible since it is a garbled mess.
Key Management and Storage
If encryption is so effective, then why do security breaches still occur? One reason is because of how poorly encrypted data and keys are managed when not in use. If a hacker gets access to those keys, they can decrypt any data that uses those same keys.
This puts businesses with sensitive client data, like banks or healthcare providers, at high risk for attacks. As such, there are many best practices around key management including restriction to authorized user access only, consistent monitoring and quick reactions to potential threats among other things.
“Overall, companies need to develop an approach that addresses every step of the encryption process.” – Joseph Belsanti
When it comes to physical security measures, surveillance cameras are often at the top of the list. They provide an extra layer of protection by monitoring and recording any activity that occurs within their range.
Camera Placement and Coverage
The placement of surveillance cameras is crucial for their effectiveness. To get the most out of them, they should be strategically placed in areas of high traffic or where valuable items are kept. It’s also important to consider the coverage area of each camera to ensure there are no blind spots.
According to a report by Security Magazine, “Cameras should cover all entry points (visible), any public spaces, choke points in building access with little surveillance visibility, areas where high value merchandise/property is stored, corridors, stairways and hallways.”
Camera Resolution and Image Quality
The quality of the images captured by surveillance cameras is just as important as their placement and coverage. High-resolution cameras capture clearer images that can be used for identification purposes if needed. Low-quality images may not be sufficient to positively identify suspects or incidents.
In addition to resolution, image quality is also affected by lighting conditions. If cameras are installed in areas with poor lighting, they may struggle to produce clear images. Therefore, it’s important to install cameras equipped with infrared technology or additional lighting sources.
Camera Maintenance and Monitoring
Maintaining surveillance cameras is critical to ensuring their longevity and effectiveness. Regular cleaning and upkeep will prevent them from becoming obscured by dirt, dust, or grime. In addition, consistent monitoring allows for quick detection of any malfunctions or issues before they affect the camera’s performance.
“Surveillance cameras need regular maintenance including testing the equipment regularly,” says Chuck Doble, president of Doble Security Solutions. “The cameras should be inspected to ensure they are always pointing in the right direction.”
Privacy and Legal Considerations
While surveillance cameras can provide added security, their use raises concerns about privacy and legalities. It’s important to follow all local and federal laws regarding camera installation and usage. In addition, proper signage must be posted informing visitors of the presence of surveillance cameras.
Susan A. Miller, a lawyer specializing in data protection, says “Businesses should be transparent with customers about what data is being collected by video surveillance systems…and for how long it will be stored.”
- Overall, surveillance cameras can be an effective physical security measure when used correctly.
- Their placement and coverage must be strategic to maximize their effectiveness and minimize blind spots.
- High-quality images and regular maintenance contribute to their longevity and performance.
- However, businesses must also consider legal and privacy implications and adhere to any applicable laws and regulations.
As an employer, you need to ensure that the people you hire do not pose a risk to your business. Therefore, conducting background checks on potential employees is critical before hiring them. Unfortunately, many employers believe that physical security measures are enough to keep their businesses protected from theft or other possible dangers, but this is not always true.
Criminal Background Checks
Criminal background checks are designed to help organizations identify whether job applicants have criminal records. Such screening helps reduce employee theft and fraud, which can be detrimental to businesses. Also, since some industries require clean criminal records for accreditation purposes, it’s essential to check if new hires’ history meets the organization’s standards. Therefore, running criminal background checks is one of the most effective ways to safeguard your business against risks.
“Criminal checks provide one layer of protection against outside and insider threats.” – Jon Hanour
Reference checks enable the employer to verify information provided in resumes from former colleagues, supervisors, and others who worked with the job applicant. These references give some insight into the applicant’s character and behavior at work. Through reference checking, employers can discover things such as issues with attendance, attitude towards work or customers, and more. Reference checking plays an integral role in ensuring that the employee matches what is required by the company culture and completes assigned tasks successfully.
“You’re looking for any problems or any red flags from previous jobs or educational experience.” -Bonnie Zucker
Education and Employment Verification
In addition to reviewing resumes and getting valuable information from references, employers must also conduct education and employment verification. Education verification confirms that job candidates attended schools/colleges stated on their resumes and attained degrees indicated in their applications while employment verification confirms their work history. It’s common for people to fake degrees or job titles, so these checks help confirm that the job applicant is who they claim to be.
“Research shows that up to 40% of people lie on their resumes.” – Jeff Shaffer
There are various background check methods available to employers today. These checks can help you identify gaps in your physical security measures and significantly reduce risks posed by unscrupulous individuals. Although physical surveillance may seem enough, conducting one or more background check types sets a secure foundation for workplace safety and stability.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some examples of non-physical security measures?
Non-physical security measures are designed to protect information and data from unauthorized access. Examples include firewalls, anti-virus software, encryption, and biometric authentication. These measures are critical to protect against cyber-attacks such as hacking, phishing, and malware. Companies should regularly update their security protocols to stay ahead of evolving threats. It is important to note that non-physical security measures work in conjunction with physical security measures to provide a comprehensive security plan.
Is employee training considered a physical security measure?
Employee training is not considered a physical security measure. However, it plays a crucial role in maintaining a secure environment. Employees are often the first line of defense against security breaches. By providing training on security protocols, companies can ensure that employees are aware of potential threats and are equipped to respond appropriately. This can include training on password security, identifying suspicious activity, and emergency response procedures. Regular training sessions can help to reinforce the importance of security and ensure that employees are prepared to handle potential security incidents.
Can encryption be classified as a physical security measure?
Encryption is not classified as a physical security measure. It is a non-physical security measure that is used to protect data from unauthorized access. Encryption involves converting data into a code that can only be decoded with a specific key. This prevents hackers from accessing sensitive information even if they are able to gain access to the system. Encryption is an important part of a comprehensive security plan and should be used in conjunction with physical security measures such as access control and security cameras.
What role do policies and procedures play in physical security?
Policies and procedures are an essential component of physical security. They provide guidelines for employees and visitors to follow to ensure the safety and security of the premises. These policies can include access control procedures, emergency response plans, and incident reporting protocols. By establishing clear policies and procedures, companies can ensure that everyone on the premises is aware of their responsibilities and understands the importance of security. This can help to prevent security breaches and ensure that any incidents are handled quickly and efficiently.
Are security cameras considered physical or non-physical security measures?
Security cameras are considered physical security measures. They are used to monitor and record activity on the premises and can act as a deterrent to potential intruders. Cameras can be used to monitor access points, parking lots, and other areas of the building. This provides a visual record of any incidents that occur and can help to identify suspects in the event of a security breach. Security cameras should be used in conjunction with other physical security measures such as access control and alarms for a comprehensive security plan.
How does access control fit into the realm of physical security?
Access control is a key component of physical security. It involves limiting access to the premises to authorized personnel only. This can be achieved through the use of key cards, fingerprint scanners, and other biometric authentication methods. Access control helps to ensure that only those who are authorized to be on the premises are allowed entry. This can help to prevent theft, vandalism, and other security breaches. Access control should be used in conjunction with other physical security measures such as security cameras and alarm systems for a comprehensive security plan.