Electronic Security for
Security in classiﬁed and sensitive areas should meet several requirements
By Bob Pearson
lanning is critical for all elec- unique, so too will be the electronic secu- of the facility and visitor/employee faces.
tronic security systems, but it is rity system for that speciﬁc installation. Cameras should be running at all times,
most important for high-security and they must be properly placed to en-
applications that must comply Security-in-Depth sure operation in various light levels and
with special requirements — Security-in-Depth is an ofﬁcial desig- the desired ﬁeld-of-view. They should
which describes many government facili- nation that a given facility’s security pro- be strategically placed to view the vari-
ties. Requirements handed down by the gram consists of layered and complemen- ous entrances and critical areas, such as
government or code requirements make tary security controls sufﬁcient to deter docks, power substations, etc.
the funding for an electronic security and detect unauthorized entry and move- The second layer is added around the in-
system easier to obtain, but often those ment within the facility. Examples include terior of the facility. A third layer might be
requirements make the electronics more the use of perimeter fences, employee and at various areas inside the building. There
complex and sophisticated. visitor access controls, use of an intrusion may even be more layers of security — if
Each classiﬁed government area has detection system, random guard patrols the buildings contain highly classiﬁed se-
a speciﬁc level of security it must meet throughout the facility during non-work- curity areas that contain compartmental-
— the higher the level of classiﬁcation, ing and working hours, and closed circuit ized, higher-security space within them.
the more stringent the requirements be- video monitoring or other safeguards that
come. Each level of classiﬁcation will not mitigate the vulnerability of unalarmed Controlling Sound Emissions
be speciﬁcally addressed here — instead storage areas and security storage cabi- Sound emissions refer to the ability to
the focus will be on typical concerns and nets during non-working hours. stand outside the classiﬁed area and be
issues for electronic security systems in a This layered approach is sometimes able to hear what is being said within the
government setting that can be resolved referred to as the “onion” design. As you classiﬁed area.
with a solid, well-thought-out plan to meet peel away the various layers of the onion The actual requirement will state a cer-
a given set of requirements. you get closer and closer to the center. tain decibel level (db) that sound within
High-security, government-classiﬁed The layers usually start at the property the area must be attenuated. The scale
areas must typically incorporate the fol- line. The ﬁrst layer of security starts at uses a base-10 logarithmic scale, simi-
lowing requirements: the site perimeter. Security measures lar to the Richter scale for earthquakes.
• Security-in-Depth; here typically include access control — Each number change on the Richter scale
• Sound emission control; which would encompass a fence that must means that the earthquake is ten times as
• Limited access; comply with certain standards, gates for strong. On the db scale, every 3db reduc-
• Documentation of personnel move- vehicles and pedestrians, etc. The build- tion is ½ the power or sound level.
ment; and ings typically have limited access, which A typical security requirement for an area
• Detection of unauthorized access. is controlled by an electronic access con- might be 45db attenuation or reduction of
There is not a single solution that trol system, and/or security personnel. audible conversations within the area. To
works in every application, but v