Physical Security

Cybersecurity has always been important.  Now, it seems, it’s becoming the new buzzword.  Everyone is concerned about it.  And they should be.  Although cypersecurity brings up thoughts of computers, networks, and data, there is another practical aspect that you might not think about.  And it starts with a simple lock.

Physical security as part of your complete data protection plan is easily overlooked.  But think of it this way… if a person can touch your equipment then that person can change your equipment!  He can cut cables, power down, damage, or even steal equipment, whatever he wants to do.  Physical security is the first step in your overall cybersecurity plan.

Perimeter Security

So, how do we keep those scoundrels out?  The first step is to consider locking the entrance to your building.  Yeah, I know many times that isn’t practical.  But if you can practically and legally lock your outside doors, then that’s the first best step in preventing unauthorized access to your equipment.

Motion-activated perimeter lighting will let a potential intruder know that he/she has been spotted.  The light, in itself, certainly won’t stop anyone bent on accessing your building, but it will illuminate the area.  And the last thing an intruder wants is to be bathed in a sea of bright white light!

ICU

Perimeter lighting is a good deterrence.  Couple that with a video surveillance system and you have a perimeter defense system that lights up your would be intruder while it makes a lovely HD video of his face that local law enforcement will want to look at.

Now, I know the first inclination is to run out to some big box store and get the latest, greatest, all-in-one, 16-camera video system for $500.  Trust me… it’s not going to work.  Oh, it will take video and maybe pictures, but you get what you pay for… in both equipment AND installation.  Installing a video surveillance system is like sword swallowing… it’s a job best left to the professionals!  A video surveillance system isn’t necessarily an inexpensive investment, but having the ability to let the intruders know you see them AND capture evidence for law enforcement justifies the cost of installation.

Inside Man

Like I mentioned earlier, many times it’s just not feasible to lock your outside doors.  But inside, well that’s a different story!  Inside your facility there really isn’t any excuse to not have an equipment room for… well… your equipment.  Routers, phone systems, firewalls, switches, servers, and DVRs all love living in equipment rooms.

Being that your equipment room door will be closed, it’s going to get hot in there real quick with all that equipment running.  Check with your favorite HVAC guy to determine the proper cooling unit size you would need for the room.  It’s good to have it independent of the building heating/cooling.  That 80 degree heating feels good in your office during the winter, but it will make your equipment room temperature soar.

Your equipment room should be centrally located inside the building, if possible.  And it goes without saying that it should be locked, so I’m going to say it… you’re equipment room should be locked.  Key locks are good, but cypher locks are better.  Cypher locks require the entrant to input a combination of numbers or letters to open the door.  You have passwords for you computer.  Think of this as a password for your equipment room!

You see?  Providing physical security for your equipment isn’t that hard, but it’s not necessarily inexpensive.  It all comes down to doing everything possible to protect your data and equipment.  And beefing up the ability to access to your data and equipment is the first line of defense in securing your network.

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