Preparing Premises to Site Computers

In the context of Information Security, the term 'premises' refers to any area in which hardware is located; it may range from a corner in an office to an entire building. It is important to consider the choice of premises for your computer hardware carefully because it is difficult to make changes once a location has been selected.

The size of the area will be dictated by the amount of hardware to be housed. The environmental requirements for the selected area will be specified by the manufacturer of your hardware. The physical security measures adopted, however, are likely to depend on the value of the hardware, the sensitivity of your data and the required level of service resilience.

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  • Malicious damage is likely to threaten your ability to meet your business requirements and will result in unnecessary expenditure.

  • Ensure that the proposed area can be secured against unauthorised persons, e.g. by solid, fire proof doors, locks, swipe card access, security cameras, etc.
  • Make sure that only authorised staff can routinely enter the area, that all legitimate visitors are escorted, and that their visits are logged.
  • Ensure that windows can be secured against forced entry, whether by individuals, by projectiles that may be thrown, or by fire within the building.
  • Investigate the usage of neighbouring rooms to ensure that they do not provide an alternative entry into your secure area. Ideally, seek a buffer zone between public areas and your proposed computer premises.
  • Be wary of premises at ground level next to external walls, since they may fall prey to 'ram raiders' or other forms of forced entry.
  • The non-availability of essential services is likely to threaten your normal operations.

  • Ensure that public services such as electricity, water, communications lines, etc. can be routed to the chosen area.
  • Accidental damage to premises may threaten normal business operations.

  • Be wary of basement areas, since they may be prone to flooding.
  • Even on upper floors, check out the proximity to nearby water tanks and mains plumbing, which may develop sudden, disastrous leaks.
  • Check out the usage of neighbouring rooms to ensure they do not pose a threat to your delicate hardware, e.g. avoid proximity to kitchens.
  • Investigate the structure of the building to ensure that it will resist and combat fire. Contact your local fire prevention officer for advice.
  • The theft of equipment would not only cause unnecessary expenditure, but may also disrupt the operation of critical systems.

  • Ensure that the proposed area can be made secure against unauthorised persons.
  • Ensure that only authorised staff can routinely enter the area, and that other legitimate visitors can be formally escorted and their visits logged.
  • Be wary of premises at ground level next to external walls because they may fall prey to 'ram raiders'.
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