Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Physical security has many holes to be plugged

Bruce Harpham | Feb. 24, 2016
Delivering improved reliability through physical security represents the next frontier for continuous improvement.

CenturyLink and UBS are two leading companies that have adopted the M&O standard for some of their operations. The Stamp of Approval issued by Uptime is valid for two years so organizations have an added incentive to stay on top of best practices.

“Managers have an important role to play in all aspects of security practices. For example, is there a practice in place to screen and evaluate third-party staff such as maintenance crews and those who service power generators? Those third parties are often forgotten in management plans and that poses a security risk. In addition, managers need to ensure that every person in the facility is trained on security versus focusing on IT staff alone,” Kirby added.

Delivering physical security improvement also requires an understanding of a facility’s setting. “We had an Ohio customer who felt their location was secure due to its location in an access controlled industrial park. They decided to enhance their site security through the addition of 'no climb' fencing after we presented additional data on local vandalism and other incidents,” says Chris Curtis, senior vice president at Compass Datacenters.

Government issues

Governments face tremendous challenges in securing critical facilities because so many people depend on them and budget pressures are a constant concern. In addition to military bases, other sensitive government facilities include major political buildings (for example the White House, governor’s offices and court buildings), research facilities (such as Department of Energy National Laboratories) and transportation infrastructure (train stations and ports).

The government approach to physical security emphasizes staff and training procedures. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published guidelines for armed security officers at federal facilities. Critical facility managers would do well to take note of these government practices and determine which measures adapt.

  • Hiring Criteria. The government recommends that armed guards have specific work experience (e.g. two years of experience in the armed forces, police or security) and specific education (e.g. police offer training program or an associate’s degree in security)
  • Security Equipment and Appearance. DHS recommendations include body armor, police baton, handcuffs, and standard uniforms.
  • Training For Excellence. The DHS best practices make an excellent point that security officers require both traditional security training (e.g. weapons and defensive tactics – DHS recommends 64 hours of training per hour – 80% of training time to emphasize hands on tasks such as use of firearms, use of handcuffs etc.) and non-traditional skills (e.g. customer service, human interaction and training regarding the organization). This training seeks to manage troublemakers without the use of force.
  • Matching Security Staff Levels To Activity. The DHS estimates that a well-staffed security station can evaluate 40 people per hour. Multi-tenant facilities need to consider workload considerations in security staffing. Rushing security procedures is a recipe for increased risk.


Previous Page  1  2  3  Next Page 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.