Q: What should a maximum/high security solution include, in SEN’s opinion? And how would you broadly define a high security site?

A: Defining a high security site tends to be opaque, in that concrete and IP asset values and personal asset valuations may vary wildly. Typically, a high security site might be a defence or key infrastructure installation. But some homeowners install high security solutions to protect their private space and families.

Speaking broadly, maximum security would apply to a site, or areas of a site, embodying or containing very high value assets, including personnel, resources, information and/or infrastructure, the loss of which will impact on the capacity of a business or organisation to operate.

In a high security environment unauthorized access may lead to the loss or destruction of information, including IP, or the disclosure of information, that will impact on the capacity of the business to operate. Obviously, any high security policy must be applied to network security, as well as physical security.

Maximum security sites need a mix of perimeter barriers, sterile zones, high security locks, door and window grilles, man-traps entries, high security door surrounds, high security walls, secure external and internal building walls and roofs. Such a site needs secure internal walls, floors and ceilings, secure internal doors, all these and internal spaces protected by intrusion detection devices in layers. The application may also require theft and fireproof vaults and safes to protect key items.

Such a site requires internal and external security lighting in support of video surveillance cameras, and to provide an additional deterrent. The surveillance system should record locally and remotely.  CCTV should meet its operational requirements of identification of faces and plates and should be supported by IR, laser, thermal imaging or ambient light sources.

The best modern security systems will include video analytics that will automate detection and reporting of intrusion events in support of security procedures. Coverage must deliver real time situational awareness for on site or remote monitoring teams, as well as storing image streams for investigations.

The access control and alarm solution should be well designed and highly secure. Any security system installed in such an environment should be designed in such a way to deliver the highest possible level of security, including access control authentication, allowing only persons who actually require access, and who have real operational needs to be allowed entry. In 2021, the access control solution should incorporate COVID-19 safety procedures, including contact tracing.

The intrusion detection system must detect intrusion from the boundaries of the protected area – this attacks on includes fences and walls, ceilings, windows, doors. The system should be Class 5 – its sensors and cabling should be encrypted and should report tamper. Intrusion detection systems for high security areas require multiple levels of penetration detection starting at the perimeter, moving through entry points and into the protected spaces. As part of the security system, the alarm monitoring solution should be highly secure and fully redundant and should report any attempts at alteration or tampering.

An integrated security system for any high security area must deliver the greatest probability of intrusion detection and prevention of unauthorized access to areas or assets being defended, as well as fast investigations of events in real time. It’s also important to incorporate alarm event response. Electronic security solutions don’t respond to their own alarms – you need local manpower teams to conduct random patrols, as well as offering superfast response to alarm events. In some applications, on-site teams might respond to alarm and sub system event notifications using preset CCTV assets, including drones.

On the network side, the entire site must be secure – this is a science in itself. You want secure infrastructure, IDS with alarm notifications, a capable firewall that is managed in real time and an IT team that is switched on to security. High security sites may incorporate virtual servers driving access control solutions and cloud video surveillance components – from pit to server, to mobile app, to data centre and everywhere in between, IT needs to be visualised as an ecosystem, not a loose collection of daisy-chained hardware devices.

There is no perfect high security site. Any application designed to meet evolving threats from skilled insiders and outsiders must retain the capacity and the budget to evolve in real time through the use of future proof infrastructure and trusted technology partnerships.

#securityelectronicsandnetworks.com