THE MAGAZINE

The Integrated Physical Security Handbook: Securing the Nation One Facility at a Time

By Ross D. Bulla, CPP, PSP

***** The Integrated Physical Security Handbook: Securing the Nation One Facility at a Time. By Don Philpott and Shuki Einstein; published by Homeland Defense Journal, www.homelanddefensejournal.com (Web); 230 pages; $149.

The authors of The Integrated Physical Security Handbook describe the book as an “essential handbook for…all managers and supervisors tasked with security and safety.” It is in fact an excellent resource for physical security professionals, and one they can exploit to varying depths depending on their own expertise and the nature and scope of their own security program.

The book identifies three “mutually supporting elements” of an integrated physical security (IPS) plan: physical security measures, operational procedures, and policies. Using a five-step method developed by the Denver-based operations contractor CH2M Hill, the reader can create the ideal IPS plan considering a company’s personnel, operations, information, and their interdependencies.

The planner must first conceive the model secure facility: what he or she perceives to be the perfect balance between security and convenience and a “benchmark for comparison.” The next step: identifying and prioritizing vulnerabilities. Third, the practitioner must identify the physical, operational, and technical assets available for mitigating risks.

Step four is the strategic plan. It consists of identifying means, determining costs, making justifications, and setting timeframes. Last is implementation, which includes project management, bid contracting, vendor selection, quality assurance and control, and revision of policies and procedures.

A shallow first chapter notwithstanding, the book builds on known information and introduces novel concepts in logical order with reader-friendly definitions and examples, well-researched facts, plausible scenarios, and recommendations for expanding knowledge and mitigating risks.

This is an excellent textbook for novice security managers and a great desk reference for industry veterans.

Reviewer: Ross D. Bulla, CPP, PSP, is the president of The Treadstone Group, Inc., a North Carolina-based security consultancy. Ross is a member of ASIS International, and serves on the Physical Security Council.

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