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Posted on September 3rd, 2012, by

Today, the problem of physical security is of the utmost important. The emergence of new threats, such as the threat of terror attacks, raises the problem of enhancing existing systems of physical security. At the same time, effective physical security should be based on fundamental principles which minimize the risk of threats to physical security. In this regard, the development of modern physical security should include multiple layers which include building security, grounds security, access control systems, and perimeter security. In addition, modern physical security is unthinkable without the wide implementation of advanced technologies, which increase substantially the reliability of modern security systems and minimize threats to physical security system. On the other hand, technological advancements often confront new threats that stimulate the wider implementation of new technologies, but the main point in the development of an effective physical security system is the development of multiple layers of physical security.

On analyzing basic principles of physical security, it is important to lay emphasis on the fact that the first layer of physical security should start with the perimeter security. In actuality, this means that the physical security system should start with fencing of the territory which is supposed to be protected by the physical security system. In actuality, modern physical security may include different forms of perimeter security. Fencing is not the only form that can be used in the modern physical security system but it is probably the simplest mechanism of the protection of the perimeter of the territory which is to be protected. Today, more effective security mechanisms can be used, including barbed wire, warning signs, metal barriers vehicle height restrictors, site lighting and trenches. In this respect, it is possible to distinguish security elements which serve to warn about the protection of the territory or building and elements which raise physical obstacles to an unauthorized intrusion. For instance, warning signs warn potential intruders that the territory is secured and protected. At the same time, barbed wire, metal barriers, vehicle height restrictors and other elements create the physical protection of the perimeter and the building.

In such a way, the perimeter security has two purposes: physical protection of the perimeter and warning of potential intruders that the territory is protected. At the same time, the perimeter should be under the control of the security service, which should have a possibility to survey the perimeter permanently.

The second layer of physical security is mechanical protection of the building, which includes doors, locks, gates and other mechanical elements of physical protection (Anderson, 2004). However, today, the use of conventional mechanical elements of physical security such as locks is inconvenient, especially in areas and buildings where a large number of people need to have access to the secured territory or building. In order to maintain the high level of security and protect the protected area or building from an unauthorized intrusion, new, electronic access control elements are used. In fact, electronic access control is based on the use of electronic systems of recognition of individuals that can be admitted to the restricted area or building. Today, various elements of electronic access control are introduced. For instance, fingerprint security systems are widely used. In these systems fingerprints are used for the identity authentication.

Furthermore, the building security and grounds security should be protected with the third layer of the physical security system. As a rule, intrusion detection systems or alarms are used at the third layer of the physical security system. In actuality, intrusion detection systems and alarms are used to identify the unauthorized intrusion, when an intruder has already entered the building or restricted area (Hayward, 2004). Today, modern technologies allow fast identification of an intruder because modern technologies allow using sensors that react on movements, sounds, breaking windows, doors, and so on. In such a way, when the unauthorized intrusion is identified by an intrusion detection systems or alarms, the security service gets the information about the intrusion and responds immediately.

However, intrusion detection systems and alarms are not always effective and there is a risk that intruders can overcome these security systems. This is why, today, video monitoring is widely used. At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that video monitoring should be used at all layers of the physical security system. In actuality, this means that the perimeter should be surveyed by the security service via video monitoring. At the next layer of the physical security, the video monitoring should show the security service the surrounding of the building, doors, windows, corridors, grounds and all the areas where intrusion can be detected.

In such a way, the multiple layer physical security system is reliable and highly effective. At the same time, such physical security provides ample opportunities for the full protection of the restricted area or building and such system meets basic principles of the physical security for intrusion can be detected at any layer of the physical security system, which is under the permanent control of the security service.

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