Logical and Physical Security – What the Major Differences Are

Logical security protects computer software by discouraging user excess by implementing user identifications, passwords, authentication, biometrics and smart cards. Physical security prevents and discourages attackers from entering a building by installing fences, alarms, cameras, security guards and dogs, electronic access control, intrusion detection and administration access controls. The difference between logical security and physical security is logical security protects access to computer systems and physical security protects the site and everything located within the site.

Weather is a major physical security threat, because natural disasters can happen at any given point of time. When planning a site selection one should consider the location of the site and what past and present weather events have happened at the location. If a location is prone to natural disasters one should weigh the consequences of the threat against the safety of personnel, building structure, computers and data. If the consequences jeopardize the safety of the whole company then a more stable location should be chosen to host the site. Additionally, weather threats can come in many forms including fire, floods, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, humidity, cold, pest damage, snow and ice.

In recent years, logical security has become the frontline for security experts. Logical security can consist of hardware and software firewalls, anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing apps, as well as other protective applications. This type of security can also be enhanced through updating operating systems and protocols which may have been exposed by hackers, basically, any measure that prevents intrusion through applications or data sources.

However, physical security can also be detrimental to the overall health of a system in that malfunctioning hardware cannot support even the most well protected logical systems. Physical security in general applies to weather, fire/chemical, earth movement, structural failure, energy issues, biological threats, and threats posed by humans on the physical premises of the network. Methods for securing a network physically include educating personnel, administrative controls, physical controls, technical controls, and environmental/life-safety controls. Controlling who can access a physical premises can be essential, which is aided by security personnel, badges, keyed entry ways, and visitor policies. Choosing the right site can help prevent, if not isolate the chance of environmental disaster or structural failure. Technical controls can consist of smart cards, access logs, intrusion detection, and biometric access controls.