Physical Security

653 words | 3 page(s)

In May 2017, UK’s NHS experienced total system failure orchestrated by a ransomware dubbed WannaCrypt or WannaCry. This was a care of security breach by hackers on a computer system. System security is thus an important issue when talking about network and system management. Sadly, however, many people do not pay attention to physical security for their hardware and software network and system components (Roper, 2017). Many people, organizations, and institutions do not care about physical security for their computer systems; instead, they invest heavily in cyber security. This continues in spite of the ever growing data lose through impaired physical security. In an attempt to define physical security, this paper states that it is the protection of data, networks, hardware, and software from damages or lose through physical means (Roper, 2017). Like cyber security, physical security is equally important and organization should take seriously all factors that could pose physical security risks.

Physical security is not easy to manage because it involves many aspects that organizations and people cannot fully control. For example, in the 21st century, the world is experience rapid changes in computer, communication, and information technologies. Movements by people are also extensive, which makes it more complicated for organizations to have definitive physical security policies (Hess, 2013). Furthermore, many computing devices such as, the laptops, USB, and Flash disks are easily portable from one end to another, which complicates the idea of putting up strong policies to deal with physical security issues. Workers can now leave their office premises with laptops or other devices such as USBs, which carry important information that an organization would not wish to put to the public. There is always no guarantee that the ferried laptops and other computing devices will get back in good condition. Companies lose such devices through vandalism, misplacements, or theft.

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In 2014 alone, about 80000 contactors, workers, and suppliers faced severe data breach after losing their laptops to thieves (Roper, 2017). The amount data lost since then in similar case is huge. Arguably, the amount information lost with stolen laptops in larger than that the cost of buying the gadgets; firms pay dearly for ignoring the need to have secure physical security measures. In the same light, many cases are in courts today where people, employees, contractors, and suppliers are complaining for physical theft of their laptops and other computing devices. Today, physical security is an aspect that not any single organization and individual should ignore. Computer and network system administrators should pay more attention on ensuring that the all computing and data handling devices are physically secure (Hess, 2013). They should ensure that workers do not ferry work equipment with them when leaving the premises unless they have assignments or duties to accomplish away from the office building.

Physical theft of computing devices is not the only means that people can use to gain access to information and data; sometimes, they use externals hardware components such as USBs to download or transfer the sought information in a computer, phone, or other storage facilities (Hess, 2013). Shockingly, some of the USB sticks used are unsecure or compromised to extent that they can bring down and entire system down by affecting classified and unclassified data. Such a scenario happened in 2008 when a worker used an infected USB stick on a computer in U.S Department of Defense base stationed in the Middle East (Hess, 2013). The end was that the virus spread through the entire the system and affected all data stored. It also affected the remote server and started sending classified and unclassified information to various countries in the region.

Organizations should always watch out for any signs of physical security breach and take prompt measures to ensure that the threat does not materialize to catastrophic security problem. Firms and institutions should also ensure that policies are place that enforce physical security for employees and managers to follow. This could help prevent loss of critical data and gadgets.

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