PHYSICAL SECURITY PAPER
Security belongs to the number of those social values, which provide a person with welfare and confidence. The issue of security has always interested the humankind – from the dawn of civilization to modern times. Obviously, methods and goals of security providing have significantly changed.
It is not a struggle for surviving in the battle with nature and wild animals anymore, now it is mainly a duel between the Good and the Evil. If more concrete, it means that however now people are less dependant on caprices of nature, as the technological progress has facilitated our day-to-day life, bur security systems are still highly demanded in order to keep our homes, enterprises etc safe. Furthermore, one of great directions, which needs security in extreme amount, is the field of criminal law, namely - one of its subdivisions, dedicated to the minimization of crime rate.
Obviously, the significant part of crimes is completely or partially connected with the penetration into the borders of private property –from common burglary to hijacking or arson. All of these crimes lead to unpredictable damages, suffering and unfairness, and all of them have one beginning – comparatively free approach to the object of crime, which has facilitated the process of crime to delinquent.
That is why different systems and concepts of physical security are invented and constantly perfected. Appropriate physical security systems are to serve various precautionary goals. Firstly, such systems work as efficient deterrence tools, because even mere existence of security instruments, especially if it is well seen and makes an impression of professional device, influences a potential offender a lot.
Secondly, if mentioned offender still risks committing a crime despite the security device, it will work as a mechanism of future detection of a criminal, as for instance, video camera will fix and tape the scene, and then the recording will be a valid proof. Furthermore, such tools sometimes can be literally irreplaceable, as they present the one and only sustainable way to the Truth. For instance, natural disasters of great power belong to those situations, which still are beyond the human control. In addition, fire of great scope is frequently explained by technical troubles etc. However, such situations may be used in malicious goals by culprits in order to mask and hide own crime. In other words, fire may turn out to be an intentional arson, whereas disappearance of important documents may also be caused not by natural flooding of a particular entity, but by human actions during this flooding. Hence, measures of physical control like surveillance cameras are necessary tools, which will be able to reveal the truth in aforementioned cases.
Moreover, the third goal is embodied in the following situation. For instance, some kinds of physical security (guardians, wardens, police officers) provide the dangerous situation with appropriate immediate reaction, as they are authorized to use necessary force or arrest the perpetrator. The power of such security system is in its immediate reaction as well as in general psychological impression, as people always feel themselves safe if police patrol is in their workplace.
Having considered core conceptual goals of physical security, it is high time to begin analysis of their kinds, which are united in a comprehensive system. The first block is dedicated to physical devices, measures or intentionally made conditions, which deter from perpetration into particular territory. For instance, to this block belong, namely different physical barriers, which make the entrance more complicated and also inform that such entrance is not generally available or for free approach. Barbed wire, different kind of fences, warning signs with clear deterrence writings serve to one goal and has a valid effect on a potential wrongdoer.
However, even such comparatively easy and common thing as doors cannot be neglected or underrated. The function of a door is the providing of barrier at a point of entry or exit, which is impenetrable by ordinary means and offering of the maximum delay before penetration by extraordinary means, i.e., by the use of cutting tools, hand-carried tools, and some explosives (Fennelly, 2012). Moreover, doors security is enhanced significantly by equipping them with locks of various complexities.
Another concept o physical security is aimed at entangling of access to a particular objects or territories. For instance, under such system, exclusively those, who are distinguished by special features, have a right of approach to somewhere. It may be connected with possession of unique keys to aforementioned doors, or of special electronic cards, which allow entrance, face or mechanical control.
The next concept of physical security relates to special personnel, which is intentionally trained and are able to preserve values and property in a professional way. Police officers, private guardians, administrators of electronic access systems obviously differ in methods and tasks, however, all of them provide security professionally, as they are allowed and have ability to apply necessary measures in the case of any emergency.
As physical control is responsible for our security, and it often is not as cheap as we would like, the issue of their efficiency is to be evaluated in an unbiased form, hence, the security assessment is highly demanded.
The security assessment is essentially the process of evaluating the information security program and determining whether guarded object is adequately secured (Kairab, 2004). In fact, if we want to be confident in the efficiency of our security providing, it is necessary to estimate it comprehensively. In other words, reasons for conducting a security assessment include: obtaining an independent view of security, managing security risks proactively, determining measures to take to address any regulatory concept, and last but not least – justifying funds (Kairab, 2004).
The procedure of assessment itself differs dependent on the particular type of security system. For instance, it is concluded from slightly different steps if it is made within the frame of business security measures, security system of private home, security in the borders of penitentiary or security of some public institutions etc. Nevertheless, it is still important to conclude it notwithstanding any kind of physical security system.
Overall, the concepts of physical security and basic physical controls introduce the issue of paramount importance nowadays, as their means and measures are efficient in different spheres of life, especially in criminal law (both in order to minimize the crime rate by means of deterrence, and to make the escape from penitentiary institutions impossible). Simultaneously, any kind of physical security is to be periodically assessed in order to guarantee its efficiency or reveal some imperfections or drawbacks.
1. Fennelly, L. (2012) Effective Physical Security. Walltham: Butterworth-Heinemann.
2. Kairab, S. (2004) A Practical Guide to Security Assessments. Boca Raton: CRC Press.