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What are Physical Threats?

A physical threat is a potential cause of an incident that may result in loss or physical damage to the computer systems.

The following list classifies the physical threats into three (3) main categories;

  • Internal: The threats include fire, unstable power supply, humidity in the rooms housing the hardware, etc.
  • External: These threats include Lightning, floods, earthquakes, etc.
  • Human: These threats include theft, vandalism of the infrastructure and/or hardware, disruption, accidental or intentional errors.

To protect computer systems from the above mentioned physical threats, an organization must have physical security control measures.

The following list shows some of the possible measures that can be taken:

  • Internal: Fire threats could be prevented by the use of automatic fire detectors and extinguishers that do not use water to put out a fire. The unstable power supply can be prevented by the use of voltage controllers. An air conditioner can be used to control the humidity in the computer room.
  • External: Lightning protection systems can be used to protect computer systems against such attacks. Lightning protection systems are not 100% perfect, but to a certain extent, they reduce the chances of Lightning causing damage. Housing computer systems in high lands are one of the possible ways of protecting systems against floods.
  • Humans: Threats such as theft can be prevented by use of locked doors and restricted access to computer rooms.

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