In today’s high tech world, companies and organizations have to restrict access to sensitive corporate data. In addition to that, they also need to limit access to some locations within the corporate building. Hence, companies require a combination of physical and logical access control policies and procedures to provide the best security for their hardware, software, and staff.
What is physical access control? How can you set up the best physical access control systems to protect your business? We answer these important questions in this post.
Physical Access Control
In simple terms, access control refers to the security infrastructure, technique, strategy, or method that regulates the access that individuals in an organization have to corporate data or resources. Essentially, access control authenticates and authorizes access by specific employees to ensure a safer business environment. It is a fundamental aspect of any organization’s security plan to minimize risk to the organization.
Physical access control limits access to physical space or resources within the business or organization. These physical include buildings, rooms, campuses, and physical IT assets. Furthermore, to keep corporate assets safe and secure, physical access control also keeps track of who enters and exits restricted areas. Examples of physical access control include fences, password-coded doors, gates, guards, security lighting, CCTVs, IP surveillance cameras, motion sensors, security badges, and access card readers, which only give access to authorized employees with the right credentials.
Physical Access Control Policies and Procedures for Your Business Premises
There are many types of physical access control methods for the monitoring, control, and management of access to a facility. These methods include gates, fences, turnstiles and mantraps; badges, keys and locks; security guards and guard dogs; motion detectors and alarm systems; and adequate lighting.
Fences are used to enclose and secure areas and can be made of different components and materials such as chain link fences, steel rods, and barbed wire or cement walls. There are different types of fences for keeping out different types of intruders:
- 3-4 feet high fences hinder casual trespassers;
- 6-7 feet high fences are difficult to climb; and
- Fences 8 feet high and above with barbed wire tops deter aggressive intruders.
These are used to secure entry and exit points in a fenced perimeter. To ensure maximum security, the deterrent of a gate must be equal to the deterrent level of the fence. Hinges and locks of the gate also should be standard to prevent destruction, tampering, or removal. Gates can also be protected by security guards, guard dogs, or CCTV to provide an extra level of security.
Access to the physical premises of your business isn’t a right – it’s a privilege. Hence, you need to control physical access with user accountability and responsibility the same way you regulate access to information, networks, and systems. Some physical security levels you should consider include:
- The Basic Security Level: These are areas accessible to everyone (including non-employees) during regular business hours. However, these areas require ID access after business hours.
- The Enhanced Security Level: Areas at this level require ID to access all the time. Premises are usually monitored with video cameras, security personnel, and/or electric or mechanical locks.
- The High-Risk Security Level: These areas may require accompaniment by an authorized person or other advanced means of security.
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