Sunday, June 19, 2016

4D - Security concept

Security has become a major concern for every organization nowadays. Ensuring safety of the various assets and resources, preventing unauthorized usage or pilferage has been engaging continuous attention of top managements. Safety and security of people working in the organization, physical assets, technology platforms and enormous data at their centers have been becoming more and more challenging each day. Leakage of sensitive data, entry of unauthorized persons into place of work and pilferage of valuable items and tools causes many operational risk issues as well as threat to life and liberty of people working for organizations. Lot of money is being spent by entities to tighten security measures, both physical security as well as technology based security tools. These concerns are equally applicable to households and small establishments.

During a visit to a pre-school day care center where toddlers and small children are taken care of when mothers are at work, I was impressed with the security systems employed by them. The entry and exit were restricted and could be made only when smart cards issued by the center were used at the door. In case the visitor did not have the card, identification was made by speaking through a speaking tube even while the person inside is able to view the visitor through the glass door. Strangers and first time visitors are subject to additional verification to make certain that the visitor is indeed bonafide and genuine. As a further security measure, parents are contacted over phone before the child is handed over to the visitor. It is indeed a big responsibility to run such centers.

A house magazine of an organization carried an article about the 4-D concept of security in organizations. These concepts can equally be applied in houses and small establishments. What is this 4-D concept? It simply involves four levels of combinations of various steps that can take care of security concerns. Strict observance of these measures ensures a high level of security atmosphere and a intruder would find it difficult to attempt his adventures in these establishments. The 4-D concept deals with the four levels of security measures; Deter, Deny, Delay and Detect.

The first step of "Deter" puts in place systems that ensure intruders are made to desist even from attempting an entry. The measures may include barbed wires on the perimeter walls, CCTV surveillance, posting of watchmen and adequate lighting around the establishment. Even display of boards that claim "This place is under CCTV surveillance" are capable of ensuring that a casual intruder does not proceed on misadventure. Any effort to gain entrance in such places requires serious preparation on the part of the intending intruders. This filters and narrows down the likely attempts at gaining unauthorized entry.

The second step of "Deny" involves keeping the unauthorized persons out by another series of measures. The measures include use of access control through biometric cards, manned entry verification through security guards at entry points, segregation of areas to restrict entry only to a specified area in the establishment, keeping the doors locked, use of X-ray machines to scan bags and packets etc. By use of such measures, gaining entry is made difficult at the first stage. Even after gaining entry, access is restricted to designated area thus ensuring protection of other segregated areas.

The third step of "Delay" ensures slowing down the progress of an intruder even after gaining entry bypassing the first two levels. The measures comprise stop doors, window grills, strong rooms with vault doors for housing servers and areas of sensitive work stations, time locks and embedded cash safes. Some organizations have entire floors of buildings as out of bounds for even their own employees. Additional security features control entry into such highly restricted areas. It is no surprise that many employees do not even know the nature of work or research going on such restricted parts of their own buildings.

It may not always be possible to prevent planned and organized gangs from gaining entry despite the above three levels of measures. The 4th D concept of "Detect" comes into play now. Detect involves monitoring and actively detecting unauthorized entrants by watching CCTV monitor screens, placing anti-burglar alarms, installation of CCTV with night vision facility, auto dialers with security alarm systems etc. This helps in preventing unauthorized activity even after an intruder gains entry by bypassing the first three levels of security.

The concept of 4-D security can be applied to our households as well. Keeping the doors locked, storing valuables in locked cabinets, proper care of valuables and avoiding easy access to valuables at homes can be effective security measures.  

Employing the 4-D concept keeps entities in readiness to face security threats from outsiders. However, it is important to remember that all these measures are only effective when the people manning these systems and tools are vigilant and careful at all times. A small slip or laxity in following the prescribed procedures even for a small span of time can fail the entire system. "Eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty" is a saying attributed to Thomas Jefferson. It is said that it was used by others earlier to him as well. Eternal vigilance is indeed the 5th, or even the first concept of security! 


  1. Extremely informative, thank for the initiative sir

  2. very nice article. need of the hour. Thank you sir. Crisp, candid and interesting.

  3. Very good analysis of the present day situation of the news we hear on media, about theft, murder ,kidnap & all other kinds of crime.everywhere we see Asuras & may be these gadgets are our saviours. Thanks for the article.

  4. This type of security is required in gaint organisations like our Banks. And also required in many organisations sir like schools and educational institutions and hospitals.