For every organization and business, physical security is a necessary aspect of protecting its facility, properties and employees against unwanted criminal activities. To choose the best organizational security plan possible, the organization must first conduct a thorough risk and threat assessment to assist in developing physical security plan. Basic physical controls focus on three levels of protection, which is the outside perimeter, the inside perimeter and the interior of a building. Each of these security levels must include at least two to three forms of security measures to make physical controls effective.
An organization that is pursuing physical security should follow the recommended security best practices and implement the necessary steps to ensure the most effective physical security possible. At its core, physical security helps achieve protection of the personnel and assets by keeping the theft and other malicious criminal activities. Outer, Inner and interior Perimeter Security To better understand how to effectively implement security measures on the three basic levels of protection, there must be a clear distinction between the outer, inner and interior perimeter security.
The outer perimeter of a property is usually defined by the property lines. The facility’s outer perimeter is fenced with a distinctive access point of entry, such as gate. The main purpose of establishing the outer perimeter security is to control all the traffic entering and leaving the property, meaning only authorized personnel and visitors should be granted the access pass the entrance gate. For an organization to decide which type of outer perimeter security is the most suitable one for its purposes, it needs to weigh the pros, cons and the cost of an intruder entering the property versus the physical security available.
External Building Security External Security is the next line of defense, right after the perimeter security. External Security must take into consideration various factors that can potentially influence the security measures’ settings, such as weather and natural events. The organization must evaluate the value of what needs to be secured and protected in order to better apply appropriate external security measures. Such assessment of valuables should be objective; there is a difference between external security of high tech laboratories and the one of a small business owner.
Each facility has very specific security needs, financial resources and abilities to implement appropriate measures of protection. Many large scale organizations and business use fencing and a gate as a primary source of external building security. Fencing is a clear sign of the property’s perimeter and it means the property is private and any unauthorized trespassing will be reported to local law enforcement authorities. Some private residence owners even use dogs as an external building security.
There are various ways to find the most suitable tools, and it should be done so after a thorough consideration of the risk and threat assessment. Lighting is another great security tool to scare intruders or at least make their work more difficult and exposed to the surrounding. Nowadays, there are many sophisticating lighting systems that can be configured to fit exactly the building’s needs. Some lights can be turned on at all times during dark hours. Such approach is however more used for internal lighting and implemented by various companies and their office branches such as UPS, Pet Supermarkets or other retailers.
Exterior lighting is extremely important for large outside perimeter, where the facility is fenced, has a main entrance point and even is guarded by a security officer. That security officer cannot have good visual perspective at night, however with the fence being lightened and the building exterior having lighting set up throughout, it allows the security officer to better view suspicious activities and therefore reacts quicker if an intruder trespass the facility. “PIR motion detector sensor so that it will switch the light on when movement is detected.
Some lighting has a handy override feature to allow the light to stay permanently on and is useful if there is a need for light outside the property for a length of time. ” (Secure Home, 2012) Modern lighting systems are also sustainable to severe weather such as snow storm, heavy rain storms and other extreme weather conditions. Security Alarms and CCTV Security alarms are very popular and useful security tools that are commonly found in both private residences and organizational facilities.
Although they are mostly used for internal security, those that wish to secure their premises with the state of the art technologies, outside security alarms can provide just that. They work very similarly to interior security alarms; they get triggered once the intruder gains an entry without proper authorization. They can be either silent or loud and notify the property owner, management or local authorities directly. Closed Circuit TV cameras are also used for both external and interior security and it depends on the organization’s needs to select in what way to use them.
The bright side is that CCTV used to be quite expensive in the past and became rather affordable in the past years. Inner Perimeter Security Inner perimeter security takes care of all the entrance points to a building, including windows, doors and other points of entrance. They all should be secured with some type of lock, whether it is a regular bolt lock or more sophisticated keypad lock. Some entrance points may be guarded by security officers who check employees’ and visitors’ ID’s to ensure only authorized individuals get inside the building.
At some instances, biometric scanning devices are used to scan finger prints, eyes or other body parts to protect against intrusion with stolen ID. What type of security measure an organization chooses solely depends on the organizational security plan. Inner perimeter security system should be assessed and updated periodically to ensure the highest efficiency possible. Internal Building Security Internal building security can be perhaps the most challenging when it comes to the overall facility’s security.
Especially with large scale buildings with multiple floors, numerous rooms and a large number of employees and staff, an intruder can easily blend in. The purpose of internal security is detecting any type of activity that is out of ordinary and may signalize a possible intrusion or security breach. The organization must also closely follow and adhere to privacy laws to avoid any potential law suits or legal issues. Interior security covers everything that is inside a building or property. There are several ways that an organization can provide security to the building.
There are high tech quality cameras such as the Closed Circuit TV cameras that monitor the entire inside, record, and store these movements for certain period of time for a later review. These cameras can work simultaneously with motion detectors to add an extra benefit. Video surveillance is proven to be a highly efficient security measure, especially when the physical security is not able to monitor the entire interior at all times. Not only would it be costly, but quite impractical. With a well configured surveillance system, every floor, every section or even every room within the building can be set up with a Closed Circuit TV camera.
Then, there must be designated security personnel to monitor such footage from either a remote location or a specific room within the building to respond if any suspicious activity is detected. They can monitor and view every part of the building without being physically present. If a suspicious activity is noticed, which is of course very likely during the course of time, a trained professional such as the active security officer on duty, must quickly evaluate the occurring situation and decide on action. This approach is often used by many large organizations such as hospital facilities, large retailers or casinos.
One of the most important and often difficult parts of the surveillance is to go through the footage and filter out what movement is irrelevant and what may be a signal of security breach. Access Control The major objective of access control is to whom grant authorization to enter certain restricted areas that are not open to the entire personnel. Access control is the foundation of interior security, whether it is access to the internal offices, storage rooms and other areas, IT rooms, and other secure areas in the building.
Governmental agencies and institutions conduct thorough background investigations for various job positions to hire only those individuals who able to receive a security clearance, such as industrial clearance or top security clearance, that automatically allow these individuals to work in certain buildings and areas, but not necessarily view all confidential documents, unless specifically permitted. Private organizations can choose their own way how to grant access. One of the possibilities is to issue special ID badges that must be scanned prior to entering certain areas within the building.
Another way is to install keypad locks or issue special keys to the authorized personnel. It is up to the security manager and the project manager to decide, which way is most suitable for their organization. These access control measures do not eliminate the presence of a security officer, but rather add an extra layer to the overall security. Every organization must keep in mind that an intrusion does not always happen from the outside, but also from the inside; by the employees and staff, who try to obtain materials they would not be able to get otherwise.
Estimated Budget Every organization has very specific needs that are based on various factors. To properly assess those needs and what security measures to implement, there must be specific facts considered. Besides what was already discussed in this paper, such as the size of the building, the capacity, the surroundings and location and the valuables of the inside, there is one factor that ultimately determines what security measures an organization can apply towards its organizational security plan and that are the estimated budget and costs of these security tools.
In the present time, there are numerous options, various brands and large number of providing contractors that are competing to get the organization’s business. After a thorough research, an organization can decide what are the pros and cons of these security measures and if they ultimately provide the needed benefit the facility needs. Annually, there are hundreds of millions of dollars spent in the US alone on security measures by private organizations, such as alarm systems, deadbolt locks, keypad locks, surveillance systems and other tools.
When it comes to the Federal government, the numbers are even higher. “Funding for homeland security has risen from $16 billion in FY2001 to $71. 6 billion requested for FY2012. Adjusted for inflation, the United States has spent $635. 9 billion on homeland security since FY2001. Of this $163. 8 billion has been funded within the Pentagon’s annual budget. The remaining $472. 1 billion has been funded through other federal agencies. ”
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