Physical security has been on our minds recently here at RM Studio. We have found that there is often disconnect between information security and the role physical security plays. In assisting our clients we have found that there are times when clients want to close physical security gaps by adding large cost to the organization. This post focuses on finding the gaps in physical security and addressing them at minimal cost while still protecting and securing information.
Recently one of our clients who handle large shipments of printed material had vulnerabilities with a loading dock and its door. Their resolution was to build a double layered security fence with two check-in gates around the perimeter. However, the cost associated with this installing these fences was around $20,000. Our recommendation was not to implement the fence system, but to repair the security gaps with the loading dock and the door.
Often times with physical security the resolution seems to be to go all out and add new solutions that do not address the security gap directly. What we have found is that it helps to look at the problem that exist and analyze whether there is a simple solution, in the above case fixing the door, which can resolve the issue.
One other example we have seen with our clients is that they often label rooms with signs saying exactly what is in the room. For example, a sign outside of the room says “Data Center”. While this is helpful for employees, it may be very helpful for someone trying to access said data center to obtain confidential information. Something as simple as labeling a door “Room 3C” as opposed to “Data Center”, may allow you to reduce the level of resources dedicated to securing the room effectively.
When addressing physical security it is important to ensure you are also balancing cost. We are by no means saying find ways to cut corners on physical security, rather there are ways to ensure security by more cost effective means.