Protecting Your Organization’s Perimeter

Smart “Layered” Physical Security Starts At The Property Line

Because of some tragic, highly-publicized recent events, you may have heard the term “layered security” tossed about in broadcasts and other media reports.

It may be somewhat obvious, but layered security, as a term applied to the physical security of your organization’s plant, personnel and assets, refers to the strategy and practice of deploying multiple levels (“layers”) of security at different potential points of intrusion.

In other words, making it tough on the bad guys at several different places where they might try to harm the operation.  Putting multiple hurdles in their way.  If they leap one hurdle, another one is waiting on the other side… and then another after that… and then another… and another.

Some people call this the “swiss cheese” strategy of physical security.  Picture several slices of swiss cheese layered one after another, each with holes, but together representing a solid “front.”  The holes don’t line up: if you get through a hole in this slice, you’re blocked by the next.

So it is with layered physical security.

Good Security At Each Layer Equals Great Security Overall

Imagine a facility with these attributes:

  • A fence or wall right at the property line, entirely enclosing the facility to include parking lot, loading docks, and building or buildings, accessible only at designated gate locations
  • A well-designed, secure building with limited ease of access (few ground-floor doors and windows)
  • Security personnel monitoring the building’s access points, possibly utilizing metal detectors or other means of screening employees, customers, and visitors
  • An extra level of access security for more sensitive or vulnerable areas within the building (badged entry, additional armed or unarmed guards, security cameras, etc.)

In this scenario, a perpetrator has several hurdles to overcome before he or she could penetrate the organization’s security at the most sensitive or vulnerable points.

If security at each layer is well-thought-out and properly executed, the bad guys don’t stand much of a chance.

And it all starts right at the property line – that wall or fence designed to keep access properly limited right at the organization’s perimeter.

Deterrence: Stopping Threats Before They Happen

Security experts often think of layered security along the lines of The Four Ds: Deter, Detect, Delay, and Deny.

If our hypothetical facility has a strong wall or fence layer at the property line, with the right security measures deployed along the whole of its length, the first “D” – Deterrence – is strong.

Strong enough Deterrence can make the need for the other three Ds much more rare.  If prospective perpetrators see a strong perimeter, that may go a long way toward deterring them from even attempting anything you’d need to Detect, Delay, or Deny.

Your qualified professional security firm can do a full physical security assessment and help you determine just what the right perimeter security is for your facility… right for your protection needs, and right for your organization’s budget.

Do you need armed guards, or will unarmed sentries be enough of a deterrent for your situation?  You can get a variety of sensors to detect attempts at penetrating the perimeter (underground, wire, microwave, and others)… but would cameras and lighting do the trick for a lower overall investment?  Do you need security personnel at the gate, or will computerized badge-access devices suffice?

Your organization’s perimeter is your first line of defense. Your firm’s first layer, and one of the most important for the protection of your most vital assets (including your people).  Get a professional security assessment and find out just how strong....  When thinking through your organization’s overall security strategy, a great place to start is often right at the front gate.

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