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CISSP Essentials:

Mastering the Common Body of Knowledge

Class 9:
Physical security

Lecturer Shon Harris, CISSP, MCSE

President, Logical Security

CISSP Essentials:
Mastering the Common Body of Knowledge

CISSP Essentials Library:
Class 9 Quiz:
Class 9 Spotlight:

Physical security objectives

First line of defense
Facility location and construction
Physical security risks, threats and
Electrical issues and countermeasures
Perimeter protection mechanisms
Physical intrusion detection
Fire prevention, detection and

Physical security - Threats

A full threat analysis should be conducted

Understanding the common threats to any facility

Identifying threats that apply specifically to a certain company
This analysis helps ensure that proper countermeasures are

Vulnerabilities and threats that

need to be identified

Physical damage
Theft of assets
Interruption of services
Unauthorized disclosure of information
Natural disasters
Environmental issues

Facility site selection

Location considerations

Natural disasters

Different areas are prone to certain types of disasters

Local crime

Cheaper land prices, but more money will be spent on protecting company

Access highways and airports

Is this necessary for the company?

Customer access

Will customers be entering the facility?

Joint tenants

Types of companies in the area

Proximity to emergency services

Hospital, fire station, police station


Should the facility stand out and attract attention?

What type of signs and markings should be on the building?

Facility construction
Construction issues

What will the facility be used for?

Building codes are different for different uses of facilities

Are there emanation security threats?

Storage, office space, industrial plant

May require walls and ceilings to be re-enforced with

material that controls electrical radiation

Level of fire resistance

A light frame will be destroyed by fire in approximately 30 minutes

Fire resistant material has a type of insulation that provides protection

Use of heavy timber requires the minimum thickness of the structure to be

4 inches

Steel or mineral wool is sprayed onto structural elements

Data center location

Located in core of facility for protection from exterior threats

Not in the basement or top floors

Controlling access
Restricting access to sensitive areas
Security professional must first assess the companys
workflow processes

Who needs to have access to this area?

How often do they need access?
What level of protection do sensitive assets require?
Proper type of access control for this environment
Necessary alerts and logging of activities
Fire codes require what type of designated fire route?

Access also needs to be restricted for

Electrical power service and HVAC

Telephone and data lines
Surveillance and monitoring devices

Entrance protection
Revolving doors
Can be activated to lock and not allow unauthorized individuals
to enter or leave a facility


Individual must be authenticated to enter the

Then they must be authenticated again to exit the
mantrap and gain access to the internal work area

Some use biometric devices to weigh individuals

Provides further protection against piggybacking


Door defaults to being unlocked

Dictated by fire codes


Door defaults to being locked

Perimeter protection - Fencing


Heights provide degrees of protection

3-4ft Deters casual trespassers

6-7ft Too high to climb easily
8ft with three strands of barbed wire Deters determined intruder
(9 feet in height including the barbed wire)

Critical areas should have at least 8-foot fences

Powered fencing

Sounds an alarm when touched and sends out an electrical shock to


PIDAS fencing

Perimeter Intrusion Detection and Assessment System

Detects attempts to climb or cut the fence
Mesh-wire fence with a passive cable vibration sensor that sets off an alarm
if detected

Perimeter protection - Lighting


Deters trespassers
Required in critical areas, entrances and
parking lots

Ensure there are no dead zones

Where employees walk or gather

Dark areas between lighted areas

Illumination of lights should slightly overlap to
ensure full coverage

Should be properly combined with

surveillance tools

Types of physical intrusion-detection systems

Electro-mechanical Most widely used
Magnetic switches
Metallic foil in windows
Pressure mats
Volumetric Not used as often
Microwave, ultrasonic, passive infrared
Intrusion detection characteristics
Expensive and requires human intervention
Redundant power supply and emergency backup power is necessary
Can be linked to a central security system fire and intruder detection
Should have a fail-safe configuration
Should detect, and be resistant to, tampering
Can be penetrated not a silver bullet

Electrical power
Primary power source
Provides day-to-day power
Needs dedicated feeders from utility

Alternate power source

Backup power in the event of a failure of the
primary source

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

Online UPS

Primary power supply goes though this type of UPS


More expensive

Standby UPS

Takes on load more quickly than a standby UPS

Monitors power line and switches to battery power
when power is lost

Another feeder from a utility substation

Power interference
Clean power
Power supply has no interference or voltage

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)

Caused by difference between wires (hot, neutral,

Incorrect wiring Neutral wire is at a different potential than ground


Improper grounding

Caused by lightning or electrical motors

Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)

Caused by fluorescent lighting, electric cables,
components within electrical systems, radio signals

Transient noise
Disturbance imposed on a power line
Can damage devices, corrupt data, hurt people

Fire prevention
Approach to fire safety

Fire prevention can be accomplished through

Proper building construction and wiring

Developing and implementing safety procedures
Training employees
Housekeeping supplies and combustibles

Four legs of a fire

Heat, fuel, oxygen, chemical reaction

Fire prevention measures

Reduce temperature
Remove fuel
Disrupt possible chemical combustion
Remove oxygen

Automatic detector mechanisms

Ionization detector
Reacts to charged particles of smoke
Gives early warning
Thermal detector
Sounds when there is a change in

Fixed or rate-of-rise temperature sensors

Photoelectric smoke detector

Sounds when source of light is interrupted

Optical detectors sound alarm when light beam is blocked by


Infrared flame detector

Reacts to emissions of flames

Senses pulsation of flame

Fire types
Fire class

Class A
Class B

Type of fire



Wood, paper, cloth,


Water, soda acid


Petroleum, tars, oils,

solvents, alcohol, gases

C02, FM-200


Electrical equipment,
circuits and wires

Gas (Halon) or C02. Nonconductive extinguishing


Combustible metals

Magnesium, sodium,

Dry chemicals

Class C
Class D

Elements of


Fire extinguishers
Halogenated fire extinguishers
Used so that equipment is not damaged
by water

Replacement for Halon without ozonedepleting chemicals

Uses chemicals instead of water

Carbon dioxide
Does not leave residue after use; does
not cause damage to sensitive devices

Can suffocate people

Dry chemicals
Not effective against electrical fires

Fire suppression
Water pipe types
Wet pipe

Always contains water

Usually discharged at predefined temperatures
Pipes can freeze and break
Can cause water leakage
Most commonly used
Dry pipe
Water not in pipe
Release after a delay
Allows someone to shut down system before release of water
Pipes will not freeze and break colder climate areas
Pre-action system
Water released after a sprinkler head link is melted
Lets people react more quickly to false alarms; also allows for another
method of extinguishing fire if possible

Deluge system
Sprinkler head is open
Releases a lot of water fast

CISSP Essentials:
Mastering the Common Body of Knowledge
Lecturer Shon Harris, CISSP, MCSE
President, Logical Security

Coming next:

Class 10: Operations security

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