As an IT leader, when you think of security for your organization’s critical infrastructure, your first thought likely turns to preventing network-based intrusions or phishing.
But another key area of cybersecurity is the role of physical security, which refers to the protection of people, property, and physical assets. While they may not get as many front-page headlines, the risk from physical threats and events such as fire, flood, natural disasters, burglary, theft, vandalism, and terrorism can be just as costly and damaging to your operations, whether you’re a small business or large school district with multiple campuses to protect.
That is why, just like other forms of cybersecurity, your organization needs to have in-depth security to protect your assets from physical threats and allow your organization to continue to deliver on its mission safely.
Whether your organization is just beginning to think about physical safety controls, is preparing for a certification, or is working to build trust in your customers and employees, here are the key elements you need to know about physical security.
Why is physical security and access control for your IT infrastructure important?
While physical security controls can include a wide range of tools, procedures, and technologies, they are generally aimed at mitigating:
Forces of nature: Protecting your IT infrastructure from the forces of nature, such as flood, fire, and power surges, will not only help to maintain the availability of your hardware and software but also help to maintain access and availability to your data.
Misuse and malicious activity: Preventing access to your organization’s assets, workspace, and infrastructure from accidental misuse, theft, unauthorized access, or the threat of malicious activity access can reduce the risk of identity theft, vandalism, or theft.
Environmental dangers: Uncontrolled air temperatures, unsafe air quality, or facility infrastructure incidents that go unnoticed can inhibit your operations, injure your employees, or damage sensitive assets.
Properly implementing physical security and access controls can also be a powerful supplement to your existing cybersecurity investments, providing additional layers of security to deter and contain threats.
What physical security controls do your organization need to consider?
The physical security controls that each organization will need to protect their assets are going to be unique to their security requirements, regulations, and operational footprint.
However, some of the key physical security controls each organization should consider include:
Physical perimeter security systems to prevent access to nonpublic spaces and sensitive infrastructure access through the use of:
Individual key cards and/or badges and body cams
Secure doors, mantraps, or turnstiles
Fences and security gate systems
CCTV technology to monitor entrances, exits, and sensitive areas paired with modern video management and analytics software
Video Verification of correct Badge/Cards usage
Motion and Environmental sensors and Intrusion alarm systems
Fire suppression systems
Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems to provide power in the event of power interruptions
Climate control systems
Unified security platforms that integrate with personnel management systems to provide real-time employee and comprehensive user access control
- Smart Proactive Systems for Concealed Weapon and Gunshot detection
Future-proof your physical security.
It is easy to believe that a physical security event could never happen to your organization or that criminals have bigger targets in their sights, but the costs of inaction could be far worse than the price of preparation with the rise of active shooter incidents during the last few years. This is especially true when it comes to protecting the people, technology, and data that define your organization and the value it delivers for your customers.
Fortunately, you don’t have to conduct the evaluations of your security posture, identify the necessary controls, and implement them on your own. VectorUSA has more than 30 years of experience delivering for organizations like yours, bringing a combination of expertise, a vendor-agnostic perspective, and a customer-first approach to our work.
Ready to learn more about how to bring peace of mind and the necessary physical security to your organization's critical assets?
Then we recommend a quick chat with our team to get you on track to total physical security control.