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Layer one - Perimeter Intruder Detection systems

The perimeter or fence line of a data centre is usually the first line of defence against an external attack on a facility, so the primary goal of security here is to achieve the three D’s – to deter, detect and delay any potential intruders. A good security system should offer high deterrence and increase the amount of time and effort required to breach it. 

It is therefore important that data centres take a holistic approach to protecting their boundaries, because focusing on just one or two areas could potentially mean some areas are not adequately secured, leading vulnerabilities in the area. Linking the perimeter security system with, say, CCTV, intruder detection or access control means that alarms can be immediately validated and a response instigated before a situation escalates. In addition, unusual motion or activity can be identified for investigation before a breach to ensure a proactive approach to delivering security.

The exact type and nature of security employed by a data centre will also depend upon the nature, size and location of the site, and in particular, any physical constraints that need to be considered for security. However, the following detail some of the security solutions which may be implemented for the perimeter of data centres in order to protect their facilities:

Physical security 

his can include fencing, which may be heavy-duty and include anti- ram, and anti-climb solutions. Fencing may also include fibre technology which can detect motion, vibration, or pressure on the fibres, the monitoring of which can be integrated with other security systems. Other physical security solutions include gates, physical barriers, turnstiles, bollards etc.

Mobile security

This may consist of man guarding and security patrols on foot or in vehicles, to provide random or scheduled inspections of the perimeter area, incident response, and lock/unlock services, if required. 

Perimeter surveillance 

Monitoring can extend beyond the fence line to the local area or airspace, using drone detection or satellite solutions. 

Canine security

For particularly high-security sites, an officer and canine can provide a visual deterrent to protestors at the perimeter or potential intruders.

ANPR access controls

These can monitor vehicle access including the ability to admit only pre-approved vehicles, using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR). 

Intruder detection

Various intruder detection systems can be used to monitor incidents as they occur in real-time. Some may trigger preventative actions, such as lighting, loudspeaker messages, music or alarm sirens. Others may undertake surveillance to detect and notify security control room staff of any unusual activity or potential threats to the perimeter. A wide range of cameras may be deployed to undertake this including those with high definition, artificial intelligence, and thermal imaging for nighttime use. 

There are a number of Perimeter Detection (PDS) technologies on the market, some of which can be used in combination, but the main options are:

  • Barrier-mounted PDS – fabric or post-mounted
  • Ground-based PDS – radio frequency radiating field systems; microphonic cable systems; optical-fibre           cable systems; or balanced fluid-filled tube systems
  • Freestanding PDS – active or passive infrared systems, bistatic microwave systems; doppler microwave         systems; dual technology systems; laser scanner systems; or video-based detection systems.
  • Rapidly deployable PDS – defined as a system that can be deployed by two people within a short               period of time, it can include any of the more permanent methods as discussed above.

A thorough assessment will evaluate threats and consider the effectiveness of the existing security deployed at the perimeter and make recommendations for improvements from this suite of countermeasures. 

Download our Datacentre brochure here to learn more about how G4S security services can support your business needs.

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