physical security examples and plan


Layers of physical security are the best practice in the physical security plan. The solution shows that the elements of a sure site are “layered”. In the case of a threat if one layer has compromised other will deal with the threat. The physical security examples are 4Ds;

4 Ds of Physical Security

  • Deter – Discourage potential intruders or attackers from attempting to breach security
  • Detect – Identify that an intrusion, attack or breach of security has taken place, allowing time to respond
  • Delay – Increase the time taken for an intruder or attacker to penetrate and reach vital areas or assets within an organization
  • Deny – Block physical access to locations or assets

The 4 D’s offer a structured way of developing security plans, and have proven effective in the protection of sites. Almost all security systems and

physical security examples;
physical security examples

Equipment of  physical security


4 D’s principles of physical security

Deter: The purpose of deterring crime is to eliminate the need for further response and is the preferred option. Examples of security measures that can deter a crime from happening include:

  • Warning signs
  • Brightly lit areas
  • Open spaces with good visibility
  • Clearly marked perimeter or boundary
  • The visible presence of security staff

Detect – Detection of crime, intrusion or attack enables response by Security staff. There are many methods available to enable detection and may include:

  • Security staff on watch
  • CCTV systems o Pan,
  • Tilt & Zoom Cameras
      • Motion-activated o
      • Night vision
      • Virtual zone recognition
  • Motion sensor
  • Alarmed, doors gates, windows, etc
  • Perimeter intrusion detection (PID)
      • Thermal sensor
      • Microwave beams
      • Vibration sensors
      • Radiofrequency fields
      • Optical fiber cable sensors
  • Canine security

Delay – Using smart site design and mixed security access systems will increase the amount of time taken for a criminal to penetrate a site. Examples of this include:

  • Lockdown of zones within a site
  • Distance between perimeter and vital assets or areas
  • Multiple lock types e.g.
      • Physical key
      • Radio Frequency key (Card)
      • Biometric
  • Hostile vehicle barriers (HVM)

Deny – This is the ultimate goal of physical security, to deny criminals access to that which the organization requires protecting. Each security measure works together to deny criminals access to people, property, and information


Hierarchy of zones

In order to achieve a security solution that will still allow for the proper operation of a client site or facility, the concept of zones is applied to determine who can go where, and what security measures are used to enforce each zone.

There are various terms used to describe the hierarchy of zones, with some used specifically for certain industries e.g.

  • banking,
  • cash-in-transit or public health care.

A best practice approach is to use the following zones as a guide for levels of security access:

  • Public Zone
  • Reception Zone
  • Operations Zone
  • Security Zone
  • High-Security Zone

The allocation of zones, and access control measures is the responsibility of Security Managers and Organisational Leadership, however, Security staff should be aware of the zones operating in their workplace, and the methods used to enforce each zone.

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