How to Implement and Manage Physical Security

Physical security represents securing your physical assets such as land, buildings, computers and other company property.

  • Perimeter security controls. The perimeter is the external facility surrounding your buildings or other areas, such as the space just outside of a data center. Two key considerations are access control and monitoring:
      • Access control. To maximize security, your facilities should restrict who can enter. This is often handled by key cards and card readers on doors. Other common methods are a visitor center or reception area with security guards and biometric scanners for entry (often required for data centers).
      • Monitoring. As part of your perimeter security, you should have a solution to monitor for anomalies. For example, if a door with a card reader is open for more than 60 seconds, it could indicate that it has been propped open. If a person scans a data center door with a badge but that badge wasn’t used to enter any other exterior door on that day, it could be a scenario to investigate — for example, maybe the card was stolen by somebody who gained access to the building through the air vents. A monitoring system can alert you to unusual scenarios and provide a historical look at your perimeter activities.
  • Internal security controls. Internal security focuses on limiting access to storage or supply rooms, filing cabinets, telephone closets, data centers and other sensitive areas. There are a couple of key methods to use:
      • Escort requirements. When a visitor checks in at your visitor center, you can require an employee escort. For example, maybe the visitor is required to always be with an employee and the guest badge does not open doors via the door card readers. Escort requirements are especially important for visitors who will be operating in sensitive areas (for example, an air conditioning company working on a problem in your data center).
      • Key and locks. Each employee should have the ability to secure company and personal belongings in their work space to help prevent theft. If they have an office, they should lock it when they aren’t in the office. If the employee has a desk or cubicle, they should have lockable cabinets or drawers for storing sensitive information and other valuables.


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