The NCSA Guide to PC & LAN Security


Stephen Cobb, CISSP

Chapter 6: Secure Sites


This chapter is about: Defending sites and systems

...the chapter deals with hardware-based site and system access controls, covering keys, locks, cards, token-based systems, and biometric authentication. Which of these technologies will be appropriate to your needs depends upon the threats you face, the value of the assets you are defending, and the resources available for that defense. The emphasis is on physical devices for controlling access. In the first instance these are considered in relation to perimeter or site security, which in practical computer security terms means controlling who is allowed near your systems.

Some of the same technology can also be applied to control the use of those systems, allowing or preventing system access. For example, you might have to enter a four digit access code to enter your office then insert an ID card into a reader to boot up your personal computer (terms such as ID will be defined in a moment). In fact, given the current trend toward system integration in physical security systems, it is conceivable that you would one card or token to do many things, from entering the parking garage in the morning, opening your office door, booting up your PC and logging onto the company network, buying lunch in the company cafeteria, and checking out of the garage at the end of the day.

For companies active in this field check out the following Hot Links at NCSA:

The Story So Far

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