Chapter 7. Physical Security

Physical security controls over computer hardware form the foundation of an organization's information systems (IS) control environment (see Exhibits 1.1 and 1.2). Damage to central processing units (CPUs) and peripheral devices in any organization can be the result of a multitude of natural and human hazards. Earthquakes are a common occurrence along the West Coast of the United States, especially in California. Hurricanes are so common along the southeastern coast of the United States that they are assigned personal first names. Tornadoes tear through the central plains of the United States on a regular basis, especially during the summer months. Floods caused by heavy rains can happen anywhere but are a fact of life in the fall and winter along many river basins in the Midwest, central plains, and northwest regions of the United States. Severe rainfall can also cause mudslides as the water undermines the soil supporting hills and cliffs. Every winter, blizzards and severe cold paralyze the north-central and northeastern United States, often resulting in the need to shut down business activity to minimize human casualties. Wildfires caused by lightning (and humans) have been all too frequent in California. They ravaged Colorado and Arizona in the summer of 2002. Volcanic eruptions are less common but can result in horrific destruction. The 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens in Washington state created such an enormous blast that some of its volcanic ...

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