Monday, November 17, 2008

RBPS Guidance – Physical Security Measures

This is the another in a series of blog posts that looks at the recently released draft DHS guidance document for implementing the Risk-Based Performance Standards (RBPS) in site security plans (SSP) for high-risk chemical facilities. The RBPS are a key component of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). This post deals with the discussion of physical security measures found in Appendix C. Earlier blogs in this series include: RBPS Guidance – Introduction RBPS Guidance Shortcomings RBPS Guidance – 18 Risk Based Performance Standards RBPS Guidance – RBPS Metrics Physical security measures are discussed in various levels of detail in a variety of RBPS, in particular RBPS 1 thru 4 contain some significant discussion on physical security measures. Since physical security measures affect all RBPS to some extent, the authors of the Guidance document elected to place a more detailed discussion of those measures in Appendix C. Appendix C to Draft RBPS Guidance Document The introduction to Appendix C (page 131), which also addresses cyber security and security procedures, reiterates a comment seen throughout the Guidance documents, that “no single measure, policy, or procedure listed below will alone satisfy the security needs of a facility”. The introduction also contains, yet again, a §550 inspired disclaimer that each facility is free to “to include any measures they think appropriate to demonstrate compliance with the RBPS in their Site Security Plans (SSP)”. The authors of Appendix C note that physical security measures are “are most useful for reducing the risks of direct, physical attacks against the facility”. The discussion looks at four main types of physical security measures:
Perimeter Barriers, Monitoring and Intrusion Detection Systems, Security Lighting, and Protective Forces
The first three physical security measures are discussed in some detail, with examples of different measures, equipment and techniques available. There is also a brief discussion of the various security considerations that must be considered when employing that type of security measure. Finally each section includes a reference list of on-line and print resources that can be used to further explore the subject. There is also a general physical security measure resource list at the end of the discussion. Perimeter Barriers The physical security measure that gets the most attention in Appendix C is the use of perimeter barriers. The introductory discussion notes that perimeter barriers can act as both a physical and a psychological barrier to unauthorized entry to the facility. It describes four general uses for perimeter barriers:
Controlling vehicular and pedestrian access Providing channeling to facility entry-control points Delaying forced entry Protecting critical assets
The perimeter barrier discussion looks at a variety of manmade and natural barriers. It provides a brief discussion of a large number of barrier systems and how they can be used to stop human and vehicle penetration of the facility perimeter. The addition of line drawings or pictures would have made those descriptions more valuable. Monitoring and Intrusion Detection Systems The next physical security measure discussed deals with monitoring. The two sentence introduction provides the most succinct description of monitoring in a physical security context that I have ever seen. It is worth quoting in its brief entirety (page 138):
“Security events are monitored through a combination of human oversight and a variety of technical sensors interfaced with electronic entry-control devices, remote surveillance imagery, and alarm reporting displays. When an event of interest to security is identified, it is either assessed directly by sending persons to that location or remotely assessed by personnel evaluating sensor inputs and surveillance imagery.”
The discussion of video monitoring is very brief and cursory. John Honovich has provided a much more extensive discussion in his eBook (see: “Video Surveillance Book – 2nd Edition”) which should be included in the reference section. The discussion of intrusion detection systems is much more useful. Security Lighting The security lighting section of the physical security measures discussion is relatively short. There is a brief discussion of the importance of adequate lighting for a variety of monitoring systems. The discussion of security considerations for security lighting is also short, but it is briefly comprehensive, identifying many of the relevant issues. Protective Forces Discussion The discussion of the last physical security measure, Protective Forces, is very poorly developed. This is probably because of the many controversies associated with the employment of security forces. Earlier this year I did a series of blogs (see: “Security Forces at Chemical Facilities – Sourcing Security”) that describes some of those controversies. The Appendix C discussion completely avoids the issues and, as a result, provides almost no information. Finally, there are no resources provided for a more detailed discussion of protective forces. This is, without a doubt, the least developed discussion in the entire draft RBPS Guidance document.

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