What Are The 4 Functional Divisions Of Physical Security?

Last updated: January 21, 2022


You will always be at risk of theft if your physical assets aren’t properly secured. The best way to mitigate internal and external threats is to break down your physical security into four functional divisions: deterrence, access control, detection, and identification. 


The goal of deterrence is to instill strong defenses so that potential attackers avoid launching attacks. Deterrents usually include strong gates or barriers, but different options suit different facilities. For example, higher-risk facilities will require interlocking doors, whereas speed gates are preferable for high-traffic areas. 

Access Control

This division is designed to restrict or allow access to certain areas. Unlike physical barriers like walls, fences, etc., access control systems protect who, how, and when someone can gain entry. It includes keycard entry systems, PIN codes, biometric readers, encrypted badges, etc. 


Detection division helps in notifying any unauthorized access. For instance, you can set triggers to sound an alarm or a text to system administration, 911, and more in case of forced entry. 


With the use of physical control measures like a surveillance camera and biometric readers, you can identify who accesses your area. Video cameras can help in recognizing faces, whereas fingerprints can distinguish individuals on a biometric level. 


The four divisions working together will provide the tightest security to your facility. Make sure you implement these physical security divisions. Better safe than sorry! 


Take a look at the rest of SIA Online for all the latest updates, newest resources, and expert advice on physical security.  

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