Governance & Risk Management

Focus on Physical Security

Bank Robberies, ATM Thefts Among Top Threats to Watch Physical security: In a lot of ways, it's one of the more overlooked aspects of protecting a banking institution.

Face it, hack attacks, malware, identity theft and even your basic insider threat - those are way sexier stories, and they help information security (or logical security, if you prefer) to get the lion's share of attention.

Yet, as the national economy goes south, good old fashioned bank robberies are back in style, and ATM theft attempts are up, too. And then there's the arcane art of social engineering, in which bad guys disguise themselves as good guys and attempt to gain access to restricted areas by preying upon your employees' desire to be good customer servants.

When you stop to think about it, there really are a lot of good reasons why physical security should be among your top considerations this year. Which is exactly why we paid so much attention to the topic over the past month or so.

Beyond outlining the threats, we tried to focus on some of the best physical security solutions and strategies, including:

  • Biometrics - how some institutions are using fingerprints and other personal identifiers to secure systems and transactions;
  • Convergence - bringing physical and logical security programs under a single protective umbrella;
  • Risk Assessment - how to gauge and mitigate your institution's physical vulnerabilities.

There's a lot to think about beyond the security cameras, guards and locks. That's why we made physical security one of our earliest priorities this year, and why you should give it equal consideration.

Following is a recap of the physical security stories we've presented so far this year. If you have any questions about any of them, or if you wish to suggest future story ideas for us to pursue, don't hesitate to drop me a line.

- Tom Field, Editorial Director, Information Security Media Group

Focus on Physical Security: Checklist of Recent Articles

> Physical Security: Making the Case for Biometrics
Technology is Here, But Institutions Don't Yet Embrace It

> The Business Value of Converged Security
Expert William Crowell Shares Insights on Benefits to be Gained from Combining Physical, Logical Security Programs

> Social Engineering: How to Beat the Bad Guys
A Well-Educated - and Wary -- Staff is Your Best Defense

> Case Study: One Small Institution Fights Back Big-Time Against Social Engineering

> Physical Security Outlook: Beware Bank Robbers and ATM Thieves
ASIS Leader Shares Insights on Top Trends in 2008

> ATM Security: Customers and Machines are at Risk
Be Equally Wary of the Skimmer and the Fork Lift

> How to Foil a Bank Robbery
Physical Security is the First Line of Defense, as Economic Woes Spark Surge in Crimes

> How to Perform a Physical Security Risk Assessment
Plans Require Crime Stats, Walk-Throughs and Constant Vigilance

> Checklist for Physical Security Risk Assessments

About the Author

Tom Field

Tom Field

Senior Vice President, Editorial, ISMG

Field is responsible for all of ISMG's 28 global media properties and its team of journalists. He also helped to develop and lead ISMG's award-winning summit series that has brought together security practitioners and industry influencers from around the world, as well as ISMG's series of exclusive executive roundtables.

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