Page 45 - Security Today, July/August 2020
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“Extra lighting around the perimeter acts as a deterrent to would-be attackers and enables patrolling guards to see better at night.”
night. Concrete bollards protect building entries from vehicular at- tacks while also serving as planters or benches that blend into an area’s landscape plan.
Access control. Access control protects buildings and critical areas within. Keypads or readers at entries to sensitive areas limit access to authorized employees, vendors and visitors. The cre- dentials, which also serve as photo ID badges, should be worn whenever a person is on secured property. The cards also may include colored stripes, quickly indicating which areas a person is authorized to access.
Mobile credentialing allows vendors to access unattended sites such as remote utility substations without an escort. Ven- dors download a mobile app and email credential to their smart- phones. The device’s Bluetooth technology signals the access con- trol reader or keyless padlock to allow entry. Security is enhanced as mobile credentialing requires possession of the smartphone, a
PIN or biometric verification to unlock the device, the app and a downloaded credential. The smartphone’s built-in GPS enables security officers to precisely track each phone and its owner.
Highly secured areas such as airport tarmac entries, laborato- ries and security command centers often require a second identity authenticator. Biometric readers using iris, fingerprint or facial recognition are commonly used.
Video. Surveillance cameras provide security officers with real- time views of facilities, both inside and out. Cameras should be positioned at all external entry points, as well as in any lobbies, interior hallways and at secure rooms to enable officers to see who enters. Network-based cameras allow video monitoring from re- mote command centers or on smart devices of patrolling officers.
Thermal cameras spot people at night and may also identify those with elevated body temperatures, a potential sign of a CO- VID-19 virus infection. The Centers for Disease Control recently advised that critical infrastructure employees be permitted to work after possible exposure to COVID-19 as long as they re- main asymptomatic and precautions to protect them and other workers are added.
Drones. They may be both an asset and a liability when it comes to protecting critical infrastructure. A drone with a mount- ed video camera can provide security officers with excellent aerial views of the immediate perimeter, and beyond, to see early warn- ings of a potential attack.
However, drones may also be used by terrorists to spy as well as to deliver explosives and other hazardous materials. Non-military drones can carry 20-plus-pound payloads for distances up to 20 miles – or more – and can easily travel at speeds of 40 miles per hour.
U.S. law has not fully caught up with the threat drones repre- sent. Currently, private organizations are prohibited from shoot- ing down drones or using electronic signals to jam a pilot’s control capabilities. However, a 2018 federal law gives the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI authority to disable drones that pose a threat to critical infrastructure.
Systems, including radar technology, can spot drones and provide information on a pilot’s location, the drone type and the controller’s IP address. Data is displayed on a smartphone app and may be shared with authorities for possible apprehension and prosecution of the pilot.
Resiliency. This implies an ability to withstand and rapidly recover from an attack, accident or natural disaster. Protecting people should be the first step taken during and immediately following an emergency. Emergency notification systems are es- sential for sharing information to avoid panic that increases the likelihood of injuries and possible deaths.
Fire systems are often a first-line choice for notifying people via email blasts, sirens, voice and strobe lights. Separate high- power speaker arrays share emergency information over larger areas. Tower-mounted speakers can deliver intelligible live and pre-recorded messages at distances of up to a third of a mile or more, depending upon topography.
Smartphone apps, may be developed for a specific site, enable employees to report suspicious activity and receive text, voice and email warnings from the security staff. Officers can use apps to contact people en route to a site, alerting them to an emergency and advising them to stay away until the situation is resolved.
Critical infrastructure sites require backup generators to con- tinue emergency operations in case of a power failure. Protecting key employees as they travel also may avoid or reduce operational disruptions. Critical management software providers can warn of significant threats worldwide, enabling people to eliminate or re-
Mark Agnor/

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