With all the space we’ve devoted on TechRepublic to protecting your network from hackers (or crackers, depending on your vernacular), shoring up holes in applications, and alerting users to the latest virus, there have been comparatively few words dedicated to physical security. It has been a recent topic of conversation at TechRepublic, though.

During the weekend of July 13th, someone entered TechRepublic’s main offices and stole 25 laptops. By Sunday night, employees were being notified of the burglary and wondering what had happened. By Monday, everyone had suggestions for improving our office’s physical security.

That got us wondering: What do our members do to ensure that their offices are safe? We asked our readers that question. Here’s what two of them had to say.

Simple security
At the American Council for International Studies’ (ACIS) Boston office, the MIS department extended the key card access system to every entrance after a recent relocation, said senior vice president Steve Painter.

In addition, the office’s doors are locked at all times, requiring employees to use key cards to enter. All guests must enter through the reception area, and only MIS employees can gain access to the MIS rooms.

Employees’ key cards are enabled and issued when employees join the firm and key cards are disabled when lost or when an employee leaves the firm.

“Simplicity was an explicit goal,” Painter said. “My experience is that simple policies and procedures work best.”

Practicing what they preach
At Selectron, a facility management and telecommunications systems company based in Portland, OR, IT administrator Kathel Kelton has established a raft of security measures, including:

  • Card readers
  • Door contacts
  • Biometric finger readers in tandem with card readers (for high-security locations)
  • 12 closed-circuit television cameras
  • Digital recorders that record only when they detect motion
  • After-hours interior motion detection
  • After-hours central station monitoring

Each employee is also issued a security code to access the building, and an automated log is kept of all facility access.

How about your organization?
What does your organization do to keep its IT assets safe? Do you have guidelines similar to those of the ACIS and Selectron? Has your organization been burglarized? What changes were put in place afterwards? Share your experiences and advice with us by posting your comments below or e-mailing them to us.

If we gather enough information, we’ll put it together as a physical security guidelines download in a few months.