September 1, 2007

Let’s Get Physical Part 1

Part 1 of a 2 part series

Physical security is probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of a corporate
environment. Physical security is changing just as fast as our logical security
but our attitudes about it aren’t. When people like Kevin Mitnick are able to
perform social engineering attacks with such a high degree of success there are problems
but these problems can be avoided.
I am going to make this a two part series with the top five things that you can do
for outside of your building to make it more secure and safe and a top ten for the
inside. These methods are relatively inexpensive but are not exhaustive.

Let’s start with the outside of the building and work our way in to look at appropriate
measures that can be taken to better enhance our security posture. The outside
of a building should first and foremost fit in with the community where you work.
If you take your security measures too high on the outside people are going to begin
to get curious as to what is on the inside.

Top Five Exterior Physical Security Measures

  1. Appearances – Cut back overgrown bushes and trees. Your building
    should be visible and limit any area where a person could hide.

(Note the picture here the landscaping
is neat and minimal. Trees are placed in areas that don’t obscure windows or
entry ways.)

  1. Lighting – Keep the surrounding area well lit at night. Parking
    lots should always be well lit for the safety of your employees and to deter people
    from approaching your building while after working hours.
  2. Entry and Exit -Limit the number of entry and exit points to your building.
    By narrowing the number of ways that you can get in and out you are also limiting
    the number of ways that an unauthorized person can enter or exit. This includes
    scrutinizing first story windows.
  3. Cameras -If you have it in the budget, invest in a Closed Circuit Television
    System (CCTV). When placing cameras make them easily visible and ensure that
    there are no dead spots within the coverage. The mere presence of a camera is
    a deterrent in and of itself. Never use the fake cameras. Criminals know
    about these and they are easy to spot. You are only advertising your lack of
    a security budget.
  4. Prying Eyes – Obscure the view of outsiders looking in. Use either
    blinds that are shut after business hours or tint the windows. Often blinds
    are left open and thieves can then window shop your business.

With these five items you can greatly improve your security and increase the safety
of your employees. The next post is going to dive into the interior and look
at the top ten items you can put in place for a better security posture and safer
work environment.