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Physical Protection

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  1. Physical Protection Division of Computer Studies Y K Choi

  2. Objectives • Identify the natural disasters that threaten computer systems • Determine the damage assessment and reconstruction techniques (for example how to recover from lost data) • Design and select the physical location of a computer server, computer room etc. (where is the best location for computer room?) • Measure the air conditioning and power supply sources for computer center, servers and communication equipment (this will disrupt the service.) • Describe the various access control mechanisms to prevent unauthorised entries (use password, key/lock) Y K Choi

  3. Natural Disasters • By definition, a natural disaster is defined as any event that is an act of God or the result of natural causes that are not avoidable. • A computer server is more prone to earthquakes in Japan than in Hong Kong. • If a computer server is located at Kam Tin, it was more prone to flooding during rainy season. • Computer and communication equipment are sensitive to environmental and temperature conditions: that is too hot, humid, cold or inadequate power and software will affect the performance. Y K Choi

  4. Type of Natural Disasters in Hong Kong Radiation Falling Objects Storms Floods Fire Earthquake Y K Choi

  5. Earthquake? Or bomb explosive? • All equipment and human will be destroyed. • There is nothing you can do. • There is why you should not install ONLY one computer centre. (Might be one in Tokyo or the other in Hong Kong) Y K Choi

  6. Radiation – Nuclear Power Generation Plant • There is a threat that the nuclear power plant might generate leakage. So far, it has not happened in Hong Kong. Y K Choi

  7. Radiation Monitoring • Environmental Radiation Monitoring Programme (ERMP) This is linked to Hong Kong Observatory. • This web site contains many information on radiation. Y K Choi

  8. Storms and Typhoon • This is the typhoon York in 1999. • From Hong Kong Observatory • In Telephone exchange centres, protection against power surge due to thunder storm is installed. Y K Choi

  9. Floods – computer becomes useless Y K Choi

  10. Floods • Floods are due to natural causes such as rainstorms, tides in Hong Kong. Say for example, you forget to close the window, while your servers are close to it. • In areas prone to flooding, you should locate your computer equipment well above the ground level. It might happen in China, but is unusual in Hong Kong. • Falling water: This is common in Hong Kong. If sprinkler systems are present in computer room, you should prepare plastic sheets so that you can cover all equipment in case there is a surge of water. You should change the sprinkler system to other types. Y K Choi

  11. Threats from Water • Flooding may be caused by rain or pipes overflowing • Please note that once a computer is wet, it cannot function. • If you were the manager, you should install water sensors below the raised floor. This sensor will alter the user. Y K Choi

  12. Fire • Fire is extremely dangerous as it damages not just the equipment but also the human. • Life is far important than equipment. Y K Choi

  13. Fire • Fire can be more serious than flooding as it affects human lives (not barbecue) • As the fire spread, there is no time to remove the computer equipment and data. • A well-planned disaster recovery plan and fire drills (rehearsal) should be practiced. • A windowless location with fire-resistant access doors and nonflammable walls can prevent fire spreading. Y K Choi

  14. Fire extinguisher Fire extinguishers are divided into four categories, based on different types of fires. Each fire extinguisher also has a numerical rating that serves as a guide for the amount of fire the extinguisher can handle. The higher the number, the more fire-fighting power. For example, from Class A to D. Class A is for ordinary use (water), class B or C (carbon dioxide) while class D is for chemical plant. Class B is enough for computer room. Y K Choi

  15. Protecting against fire and Smoke • Use smoke detectors and check the function • Place a fire extinguishers near the computer room/communication equipment room • No smoking in computer areas • Use CFCs (or carbon dioxide) fire extinguishers rather than water-based (class B or C) Y K Choi

  16. Fire and Smoke Detectors • Smoke detector • Fire detector • detectors will sound loud, 85 decibel alarms to alert the user of smoke buildup. This could be due to a fire. The device is easily attached to walls or ceilings with batteries. Y K Choi

  17. Physical Facilities • In the early days, protection was simple as all equipment was kept in a single room with lock. • Today, with computers and servers becoming cheaper and smaller, protecting the environment is difficult. • Physical security involves tangible measures that are instituted to protect the facility, equipment and information from theft, misuse and disclosure etc. Y K Choi

  18. Computer Room • A typical computer room with smoke detector, water sprinkler and raised floor air conditioner Y K Choi

  19. Physical Layout of a computer room: Computer room before Computer room after Computer room during Computer room in operation Y K Choi

  20. Selecting the Physical Location The physical requirements for security can be met taking the following into account: (from Karen Forcht) • Place the computers and servers from main building traffic areas such as far from corridors • Avoid a location with outside walls and windows • Impose secure door locks • Install separate power sources and air conditioning systems (essential power in computer lab.) • Install backup light – such as torch Y K Choi

  21. CityU’s Computing Services Centre Far from students Y K Choi

  22. Air Conditioning Equipment • It should be independent of the rest building. • It should be connected to the fire detection and extinguishing system. • Additional smoke exhaust should be installed for emergency use. • The alarm should allow sufficient time for a system halt (system halt means no service). Y K Choi

  23. Access Controls • It includes key-locks, card-key locks, etc • Digital Keypad Locks digital access control locks for any door retrofit any standard knob or lever programmable from the keypad • Fingerprint (identify a finger) or photo identification • The controls include mirrors to eliminate blind spots in these areas (check with CSC, you will find that it has CCTV and mirror) Y K Choi

  24. Access Controls Digital lock, use password to open the door Computer lock to safeguard the equipment Access card Finger print Y K Choi

  25. Physical checklists – example of Division of Computer Studies • Security guard • Closed circuit TV • Fire extinguisher • Access gate • Access key lock • Sprinkler system • Central air-conditioner • Essential power (the highest priority to provide power) • Computer lock Y K Choi

  26. Physical checklists – example of Computer Services Centre (CSC) (1) • Identification mechanisms - password • Entrance control – with Cityu’s card • Guard control – with a security guard • Television surveillance – closed circuit TV • Environmental alarms – alarm in the corridor • Fire suppression system – fire extinguisher • Fire communication – security office 8888 • Emergency evacuation – fire exits • Remote site backup – NO Y K Choi

  27. Physical checklists – example of CSC (2) • Disaster recovery plan – Yes • Locate computer facilities in low traffic areas – in TSC room • Install power sources independent of other areas – essential power supply and uninterruptible power supply • Make ceilings and walls watertight – check by yourself • Prohibit smoking, easting and drinking in computer room – Yes • Place breathing apparatus units around facility – NO, but there is a safety box Y K Choi

  28. Web site on safety and health • There is a web site developed by CityU students to learn the knowledge on safety/security on computer server. Y K Choi

  29. Summary • The protection of the computer and server room is the first step in securing the operation. • Natural disaster such as flood, fire, earthquakes present a real threat • Backup copies should be kept in a safe place • Computer room should have separate air conditioning, power and electrical supply with fire detection • To prevent unauthorised persons, access controls such as locks, password should be installed. • Web site: Y K Choi

  30. Next Week • Web Security • Contents • Definition of Web security • Browser <- >Internet <-> Server • Risks that affect the above three Y K Choi