Perimeter protection: risky business and the power of detection

April 9, 2024


perimeter protection

There is more to perimeter protection than meets the eye, says Zack Davidson, General Manager, Advanced Perimeter Systems (APS) as he calls for a more nuanced approach to security.

When it comes to safeguarding assets, whether they are physical locations, data centres, or critical infrastructure, perimeter security plays a pivotal role.

However, the effectiveness of perimeter security is not just about the strength of fences, the sophistication of sensors, or the height of walls; it’s also about understanding and managing risk.

Risk, in the context of perimeter security, is not a one-size-fits-all concept.

It requires a nuanced approach that considers various factors, from the value of the assets being protected to the potential threats they face. 

One of the first steps in understanding risk in perimeter security is to assess vulnerabilities.

This involves identifying weak points in the perimeter defences that could be exploited by potential intruders.

Vulnerabilities can range from physical vulnerabilities like gaps in fencing or blind spots in surveillance coverage to technological vulnerabilities such as outdated sensor systems or inadequate access controls. 

Physical vulnerabilities are often the most visible, as they are tangible aspects of the perimeter that can be assessed and addressed directly.

For instance, an outdated or poorly maintained fence may provide an easy entry point for unauthorised individuals.

Similarly, if surveillance cameras do not cover certain areas adequately, it creates a blind spot where intruders can go undetected.

These vulnerabilities need to be identified through thorough inspections and audits of the perimeter security infrastructure. 

A comprehensive risk assessment 

Addressing vulnerabilities requires a multi-faceted approach.

It begins with a comprehensive risk assessment that identifies potential weaknesses. By identifying and addressing weak points in physical and technological defences, organisations can significantly reduce the likelihood of unauthorised access.

A proactive approach to vulnerability assessment not only strengthens perimeter security but also contributes to a more robust overall security posture for the organisation. 

Perimeter security serves as the first line of defence against unauthorised access and threats.

It acts as a barrier, deterring intruders and giving security personnel time to respond to potential breaches.

However, simply erecting physical barriers is not enough. To truly enhance security, a thorough understanding of risk is essential as well as a multi-layered approach to achieve defence in depth. 

Reducing risk through detection 

An effective perimeter security solution that has the best chance of reducing risk to assets and property has multiple layers.

Depending on your site the security system can be invisible, discreet, or perhaps you want a high-security visual deterrent.

Advanced Perimeter Systems has three clear choices to help create a bespoke, multi-layered solution to address your unique risks and vulnerabilities. 

The Microguard product range includes microwave and infrared sensors which can provide an invisible barrier, giving you an early warning of an intruder approaching.

Not visible to the human eye and can be discreetly hidden in the landscaping.

Especially effective if you can’t have, or don’t want a physical barrier to spoil the aesthetics. 

The Flexiguard acoustic sensor cable system is a silent sentinel along your perimeter fence, constantly monitoring for any attempts to breach the perimeter.

This sophisticated system discreetly detects any activity such as cutting or climbing on the fence, triggering an immediate alarm response.

Intruders are unaware of its presence, giving security personnel the upper hand in responding swiftly to any potential threats.

Able to easily integrate into existing systems such as CCTV so that cameras can be directed to the point of intrusion, Flexiguard protects your perimeter 24/7, 365 without the risk of being compromised.

The silent yet vigilant nature of the Flexiguard system makes it an invaluable addition to any security setup. 

For the ultimate deterrent, our Electro-Fence is not only an imposing physical and psychological deterrent, but any attempt to breach results in a nasty, but non-lethal, 10,000-volt shock.

If you really want protected go for the ultimate deterrent electric fencing. This system is completely safe and legal to be installed anywhere and unliked barbed wire will not potentially leave you in a legal battle.

As one of our USA customers recently commented, “Electro-Fence is gnarly enough to keep people away just by the look of it”. 

Modern vs traditional  

One of the fundamental limitations of the traditional approach was its reliance on a single layer of defence.

A fence, no matter how well-built, could be breached. Barbed wire could be cut, and guards could be outmanoeuvred or compromised.

Moreover, these methods lacked the ability to provide real-time alerts or data on intrusion attempts. Once an intruder breached the perimeter, the response was often reactionary, rather than proactive. 

While barbed wire may seem like a cost-effective perimeter security solution, the reality is that its effectiveness diminishes against determined intruders.

With criminals equipped to overcome its barriers, property owners are left with a false sense of security. 

Barbed wire’s legality is a double-edged sword.

While it is legal, its placement near public land could lead to legal troubles for property owners.

It is clearly stated in the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 that if someone is breaking into a property and they sustain injury they have a right to sue the occupier or property owner due to whatever unsafe conditions caused their injury.

In contrast, electric fencing or wall toppings offers a legal and completely safe alternative that complies with regulations, ensuring peace of mind without legal repercussions. 

The evolution of perimeter security from basic measures to multi-layered intrusion detection systems represents a necessary and critical response to the complexities of modern threats.

Advanced Perimeter Systems’ products, including Flexiguard, Electric Fencing, and Microguard, embody this evolution.

The traditional approach, with its reliance on sole fences and manned guards, is no longer sufficient in today’s security landscape.

As organisations and facilities strive to protect their assets and personnel, embracing this modern approach to perimeter security is not just a choice but a necessity. 

A crucial line of defence 

In the realm of safeguarding assets and critical infrastructure, perimeter security stands as a crucial line of defence.

Advanced Perimeter Systems‘ comprehensive approach to perimeter security, as highlighted in this article, presents a modern and effective solution to the evolving challenges of intrusion and risk mitigation.

By recognising that perimeter security is not a one-size-fits-all concept, but rather a nuanced understanding of vulnerabilities and threats, APS offers a multi-layered system that addresses these complexities.  

The traditional methods of perimeter security, once effective to some extent, are now outdated in the face of sophisticated threats.

As discussed, relying solely on fences, barbed wire, or manned guards can leave vulnerabilities that determined intruders can exploit.

Moreover, the legal implications of traditional methods, such as the liabilities associated with barbed wire, underscore the need for a modernised approach. 

In today’s security landscape, where risks are diverse and dynamic, a multi-layered approach is paramount.

APS understands this need and offers bespoke solutions tailored to individual requirements.

Whether it be a new installation or a retrofit of an existing system trust us to listen to your specific needs and address them.

By embracing Advanced Perimeter Systems’ expertise, organisations can ensure their assets are shielded with the highest level of security, providing peace of mind in an ever-changing world. 

This article was originally published in the April Edition of Security Journal United Kingdom. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

Read Next