Summary

This chapter has outlined many local configuration changes and add-ons that can and should be made to enhance physical security or should be reviewed during an audit. While it may not be possible, or even practical, to implement all of them, it is advisable to find the best working combination for your environment.

Having multiple physical access controls and defense-in-depth are vital to the long-term security and confidentiality of resources. Defense-in-depth can be used to make up for shortcomings in other areas, such as software vulnerabilities or failing to prevent physical access to the computer itself.

For instance, if attackers circumvent all physical access controls into a server room, remove a server from a locked server rack, remove the hard drive to circumvent a BIOS password, and strip the platter lock from the drive, the whole system has not necessarily failed. If attackers then attempt to access confidential data on the drive, but find the data protected by full disk encryption, their efforts have been thwarted. The attackers made it through four levels of physical security, only to be stopped by the fifth level.

This fanciful scenario represents the heart of defense-in-depth. Defensive layers need to be manyfold to ensure that weaknesses in any one layer will not compromise the safety of the whole.

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