This week: physical security!

Huh, physical security in a manufacturing environment? Theft isn’t normally an issue since the equipment would fail immediately if a part were stolen. That is if the machine is running; if the machine is idle, however, then theft could be an issue. Tools, supplies, and the small stuff that can add up over time are a different story, but, I don’t want to talk about the obvious stuff. Maybe it isn’t theft of the equipment that we should worry about. More like theft of the intellectual property, or maybe the products you manufacture are high value and the employees want to use what they make.

How do you protect that? Keycards, mantraps, biometric, and live guards all have proven through the test of time to work. I once worked in a contract manufacturer that among many other things made toothpaste and teeth whitener and those items were popular. The company knew this and addressed it rather nicely, or at least I thought it was nice and non-insulting. During most company meetings products were distributed as gifts to all of the attendees and there were vending machines that sold the products at a very deep discount. Of course, there were the signs about limiting purchases of the products to a few items per day and the posters about theft were routinely changed and moved around to keep everyone’s eyes on them, and I think combined those tactics worked well.

Other things that helped of course, like at my current employer are video cameras monitoring the doors to the outside. There are no cameras inside monitoring our work, which I take as meaning there is a lot of trust and professionalism. We must enter all of the work areas with key cards; this has more to do with personal security and the active shooter training that we all recently went through than the products being of high street value; they aren’t. Many of the parts we make are confidential because our customers want them to be held in confidence and as such most operators aren’t allowed to roam into other areas of production freely.

I like our security, and I don’t hear anyone complaining about it.

See you next week.




Barker, D. (2012, July 26). A Guide to Physical Security for Data Centers. Retrieved from The Datacenter Journal:

Conklin, W. A., & White, G. (2015). All In One CompTIA Security+ Exam SY0-401. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Herold, R. (n.d.). The Definitive Guide to Security Inside the Perimeter. Retrieved from Realtime Publishers:

Meyers, M. (2012). All In One CompTIA Network+ Exam N10-005. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Prowse, D. L. (2014). Cert Guide CompTIA Security+. Indianapolis: Pearson.



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