Thursday, March 18, 2010

Environmental Threats- Computer Security


Introduction

To gain high secure, a system must be concerned about the interference of natural matters too. The natural matters which affect the security of a computer system are called as ‘Environmental Threats’. Some of the examples for environmental threats can be categorized as extreme cold,heat,humidity,dust,rainfalls,earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, snow, ice, mud slides and sink holes.

Methods of mitigating Environmental Threats

· Air filters should remove fine dust particles because outdoor dust is brought in on clothes and shoes

· Air filters must be cleaned or replaced in a regular schedule.

· Periodically air heating equipment should be turned on, even it isn’t needed. This is to incrementally burn off that would other wise accumulate and be converted to an appreciable amount of smoke, when the equipment is activated for the first time after a long time period.

· Water detectors should be placed above and below a raised floor to monitor the rise of water level.

· An automatic power shutdown should be triggered by a sensor that is lower than the lowest energized wire.

· Any equipment that produces strong magnetic fields should be kept in a room separate from any media that is not scheduled to erase.

· Computers should be kept away from sources of vibrations, including printers. If this can’t be arranged, vibration absorbing mats can be placed under the computer or offending device.

· A dependable and redundant system of air conditionings and humidity controls need to be implemented, monitored continuously and issued alerts when problems occurred.

· If possible the use of a humidifier and dehumidifier should be used to keep a proper humidity levels as climate area and air conditioners can affect greatly the proper levels of humidity in this controlled environment.

· Routers and switches should be placed in an equipment rack with the proper spacing between devices to allow for proper airflow. Typically you will want to allow one “rack unit” or RU between the equipment within the rack.

· Automatic fire detectors should be placed on the ceilings of the rooms as well as hidden spaces (Eg.below raised floors and above suspended ceilings).These fire detectors must be able to function during a power outage.

· An alarm triggering a HI or LOW temperature parameter should be sent to a remote monitoring facility, emailed, text messaged, or paged to the proper personnel.

· As a backup plan, fans should be stored nearby for use in an emergency, as they could mean the difference between keeping equipment online and functioning and being destroyed by the heat if a failure was to occur.

· Long term preservation of data should be stored in magnetic or optical format to keep those data in perpetuity.

· The important and necessary data of the system should be kept as backups in magnetic or optical format to keep for a long time.

References

  1. The paper 'The Changing Face of Network Security Threats'
  2. The book 'Internet Encyclopedia,Volume 03'

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