Defence & Government Infrastructure

National or international defence and governmental infrastructure are considered vital to home country operations. Not only is infrastructure fundamental in the delivery of essential services; the personnel within such infrastructure are also vital within this complex network. A compromise of such services and personnel could result in significant impact on national security, national defence services, the functioning of the state and ultimately, prosperity.

Whether an asset is located within a home territory or is an international asset, the strategy of defence-in-depth can be utilised to protect the vulnerable components of the infrastructure and the wider perimeter.

When embarking on a physical security scheme, it is important that the risks and vulnerability, unique to each site are thoroughly understood. This can be formalised via a ‘vehicle dynamic assessment’. Once the threat profile has been understood, HS Security can assist in achieving your security objectives.

Defence-in-depth is a well recognised strategy intended to delay and slow the advances of threat, buying time to detect and mitigate.

Defence & Government Infrastructure Security

1. Access Requirements

On a daily and weekly basis, it is important to establish who requires authorised site access. This may be different levels of access, for example, authorised deliveries may need access within the perimeter and to the service area only. Staff members will need access to zones inside the infrastructure itself. Does your facility have visitors? If so, how will they be accommodated? Once mapped out, you will be able to determine how many different types of access will suit your security objectives and who the authorised stakeholder groups are. This is the creation of a ‘white list’.

2. Perimeter Vs. Access Points

Securing a perimeter is very different to securing an access or entrance point. If the security objective of a site is to only allow authorised personnel and vehicles into a restricted area, the perimeter will need to prevent all access and redirect vehicles and pedestrians to manned and secured points along the perimeter where access can be managed effectively.

The type of perimeter security chosen depends on a number of things. If your site has sensitive operations happening within the internal perimeter, perimeter security may need to conceal operations. If visibility is necessary and part of your security protocol, security measures must not block the line of sight. Anti-climb measures may be required if your site is at risk of criminality and perimeter breaches on foot.

3. Layered Approach the Best Approach?

If you are protecting a highly sensitive or valuable asset, a layered approach is often an advisable approach – ‘defence-in-depth’. The aim of this security methodology is to delay an attacker to allow mitigation and response. You might have the outer perimeter, an internal perimeter and then building hardening measures to protect the asset itself.

This might not always suit your sites security objectives or, this approach might not be possible due to planning constraints or challenges in the sites topography. Each site should be assessed uniquely.

Third party, accredited security products can support manual check-in procedures.

Pedestrian Turnstiles can be installed within a fence line to allow authorised visitor and employee access. This involves the combination of strong, steel structures with carefully thought out access control measures. When designing an authorisation process, consider a two-stage verification process. This is much more secure than just a single authorisation process. For example, an employee would need to present a code in conjunction with automated recognition technology such as biometrics.

Using measures such as tags or access control cards is not the most secure method of managing authorised access – they can be stolen or replicated very easily. Designing out vulnerabilities is vital to a successful scheme.

Sally Port Entrance (or Tiger Trap) can be used to control and manage vehicle access. An initial barrier is placed to control vehicular access. Once through the first barrier, this barrier closes and a second barrier is already deployed to hold the vehicle while authorisation is validated. This may also involve under vehicle scanning depending on the sites security objectives. Once the car has passed authorisation checks, the second barrier is lowered to allow access. This second barrier is sometimes referred to as a final denial barrier.

It is important to consider human error in this scenario and consider designing out manual assessment where possible.

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Security Experts

Russell Ridgway

Russell Ridgway, Critical National Infrastructure Security Expert (Industrial)

For over fifteen years, Russell has been heavily involved in the physical security industry, helping to advise and provide security solutions to protect Critical National Infrastructure across the UK and further afield. Pivotal in driving and informing product development to meet critical national infrastructure needs over the last decade, Russell has led a development programme to mitigate emerging threats and address client requirements.

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