Physical/Environmental Security

Kelly School of Business
Indiana University
Information Systems Graduate Programs

Goals of Physical Security

  • Deter
  • Delay
  • Detect
  • Assess
  • Respond

Threats to Physical Security

  • Natural/Environmental threats
  • Hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, forest fires, floods
  • Utility systems
  • Electrical, communications
  • Malicious threats/Human-made/Political events
  • Physical attacks, sabotage, vandalism, arson, theft, riots
  • Accidental threats
  • Done by insiders inadvertently


  • Location
  • Rural vs. Urban location
  • Full ownership of facility vs. partial ownership
  • Geographical location and possibility of natural disasters
  • Site construction and planning
  • Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED)
  • Used by architects, city planners, and security professionals as a crime reduction technique that has several key elements applicable to the analysis of the building function and site design against physical attack
  • Examples
  • Using a single, clearly identifiable, point of entry
  • Using climbing thorny plants next to fences to discourage intrusion

Layered Defense Model

Layered Defense Model

Procedural Controls

  • Guard post
  • Checking/escorting visitors
  • Managing deliveries
  • Security zones and restricted work areas in buildings
  • Security for communication links

Infrastructure Support

  • Fire prevention, detection, suppression
  • Fire and smoke detection systems
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Dry pipe vs. wet pipe systems
  • Boundary protection
  • Perimeter walls, fences
  • Vehicle and personnel entry and exit gateways

Building Entry Points

  • Keys and locking systems
  • Walls, doors and windows
  • Access controls
  • CCTV
  • Intrusion detection systems (for physical intruders)
  • Portable device security
  • Asset and risk registers

Information Protection and Management Services

  • Managed services
  • Audits, drills, exercises and testing
  • Vulnerability and pen tests
  • Maintenance and service issues
  • Education, training, awareness