ever, not treated with the same magnitude as technical intrusions such as hacking, computer virus and invasion of spyware programs.2 What many security strategists fail to understand is that both attacks carry the risks of equal magnitudes. Whether the intruder gained the unauthorized access by physically bypassing the security systems or electronically infiltrating the firewalls and other measures the potential detrimental effects of having the organization’s data or other possession in the wrong hands is the same. 3 To that end, physical security threats should be treated with the same magnitude as other non-physical security threats.
Physical security measures are the measures instituted to prevent any unauthorized access of the organization’s property, secure facilities, data, and resources from damage. These damages could be in form of data or property theft, espionage, vandalism and even gross terrorist attack. The physical security measures, therefore, is a combination of multi-layered security systems which operate independently to prevent physical security threats. This paper will analyze the importance of physical security measures then the critical considerations used for physical security risk assessment in order to institute an effective physical security system.
Physical security systems appear in different forms and perform different tasks. It is important to note that none of the systems is capable of independently and effectively protecting the organization against physical intrusion.4 The various systems operate independent of one another, but cooperate with each other in order to form an effective whole. The doctrine of synergy, which implies that the whole is better than the sum of its individual components, has great relevance and application in designing an effective physical security system.