Category: Art & Design

Addressing Security Concerns with IT Security Architecture in Building Designs

The design of highly safe and secure buildings has always been of primary importance to architects, owners, and other stakeholders. This fact is evident in the various structure types and designs that have increased the real estate space over the years.

Every day, criminals come up with new methods of breaking into homes, and only well-designed structures are capable of repelling these constant attacks. As a result, architects and construction personnel have been motivated to step up their games in ensuring buildings today meet up with strict security standards set by various regulatory bodies.

Security considerations in building design have significantly evolved. From a plan for fire protection to natural hazards mitigation, lots of careful planning, risk, and impact assessments now go into the design stage of structures. A proactive technique that helps anticipate, assess, and effectively protect- the building occupants, properties, resources, and fabrics from multiple hazards- is usually adopted.

However, while much emphasis is on catering for physical security in building designs, less attention is being given to an equally important, not-to-be-joked-with, topic, Information Technology security.

What is IT Security?

Since the turn of the century, Information Technology has significantly evolved. It’s no longer just about merely carrying out a web search using keywords or clanking on a desktop computer’s keyboards in a corner. IT has advanced and expanded into a series of technical concepts like programming, engineering, data analytics, and the likes.

However, with the advancement in IT came an increasing concern as to the safety of information and data. IT has presented individuals and business opportunities never thought of a few decades ago, but with some unprecedented challenges. Many cybercriminals have capitalized on the access and wealth of knowledge of IT to find new methods of committing crimes, virtually. The need to address these issues was what brought about the concept, IT security.

Therefore, IT security can is a set of cybersecurity techniques that help prevent organizational assets (data, networks, sensitive information, computers, etc.) from authorized and unwarranted access. It helps maintain the value and confidentiality of data and protects them from sophisticated cybercriminals.

Briefly discussed below are two of the most common threats to IT security.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing is an illegal cyber activity in which targeted digital messages are sent to unsuspecting people, fooling them into clicking on links that automatically install malware and viruses. The function of this malware is to garner sensitive data and information from the victim’s device. These data and information are used to commit crimes, thereby implicating a victim.

ID Theft

Identity theft happens when hackers illegally take over someone else’s personal information and identity to obtain credit or loans. It’s one of the worst cyberattacks that can ever happen to an individual. If not checked on time, a single ID theft attack could drain you of your hard-earned cash.

IT Security Architecture and Building Architecture

These are two similar but distinct concepts. While both constitute subsets to a more extensive system, they’re invariably different in definition and practice. However, they relate when it comes to ensuring the functionality of an order. They’re both responsible for maintaining the virtual and physical integrity of a building system, respectively, with regards to protection and security.

IT security architecture can be described as how IT security controls and measures are positioned or designed and how they relate to the overall system. These controls and measures are put in place to ensure that the system’s components are in good condition in terms of availability, confidentiality, and integrity.

Building architecture, on the other hand, is a work of art that involves the planning, design, and construction of buildings and other structures. It shows how building components function together so that they meet the shelter and security needs of inhabitants or users.

For businesses and homeowners, security can be paramount, although more severe with some than others. While some owners want a safe and comfortable home or workplace, tight security is of high importance to others due to the nature of their jobs or fear for the safety of extremely confidential data that they have in their homes. Regardless of the case, it’s the job of architects -building and IT security- to ensure safety and security.

The Place of Architects in Addressing IT Security Issues

Since the beginning of the last decade, there’ve been growing concerns on how bold and advanced cybercriminals have become due to advancements in technology. Physical fortifications are almost inconsequential as far as cyberattacks are concerned. As a result, there’s been an unprecedented massive investment in cybersecurity by various companies and corporations to protect organizational assets.

Now, you might be wondering about the type of relationship that exists between IT security architects and building architects and how the activities of one can solve the challenges inherent in the other. Stress no further. Below are some of the ways building architects can help address IT security issues using building designs.

Collaborating with IT Security Experts and Organizations

To help solve a challenge outside your jurisdiction, you must involve experts in that field to get a proper orientation on the subject. In building design, as a designer, you should block every loophole. Both physical and IT security should be considered to ensure functionality. Like a building architect, you need the insight of an IT security architect on the most suitable sections to make provisions for IT infrastructures in your design.

For instance, an IT Security Company like Home Security Heroes offers useful information on the various cybersecurity features you can subscribe to as a homeowner. Detailed information on identity guard, loan monitoring, child monitoring, and others are useful resources you can get from this company. They’ll help with your design.

Making Provisions for IT Security Hardware and Infrastructure

As a building architect, making provisions for extra spaces for IT security infrastructure in your building designs must be normalized. In the absence of IT experts at the time of designing, efforts should put IT into consideration. Network cables, routers, and computer systems are some of the IT instruments that would require extra space. Doing this will ensure your design meets the standards for beauty, aesthetics, and functionality.

Educating Clients on Need to Invest in IT Security

The world is gradually going digital, and data is becoming increasingly more valuable. The need for individuals and organizations to protect their information assets by investing in cybersecurity can’t be overemphasized.

By educating clients on the need to put IT into consideration, building architects are helping to address various threats plaguing the IT world.

To help combat the menace of IT Security issues on building designs, building architects must be ready to think outside the box and be innovative, to ensure maximum security and functionality of the plan.

Security Considerations for Architects When Designing a House

The importance of security is the reason why we have the desire to build. From ancient castles, moats, and hill fortresses, architecture has served the purpose of safeguarding and protecting since its early development.

The application of architecture provides comfort, tranquility, and relaxation for users.  It also provides a feeling of safety and security. 

Vital factor architects need to consider when they are designing a secure home is how its designs can be workable.  It means that they strive to construct buildings that do not cause discomfort or unease. An architect must be creative and able to use the environment and landscape to his/her advantage.

Active and Passive Security in Home Structural Design

There are two significant approaches to home security designs.

Active security is visible and relates more to traditional security. Examples are houses with barbed wires, point-tipped gates, security cameras, tall fences, metal detectors, and armed security guards. These choices openly signal aggression and will sometimes need high costs of maintenance.

Passive security, on the other hand, incorporates home design features that discourage threats while remaining mostly unnoticeable to its consumers. This form of protection is not used or marketable as a product. Instead of existing as specific items and inventions, passive security is more of using good design to add a layer of defense, privacy, and refuge.

Proper security is unified, inconspicuous, and architects should consider passive methods for implementing security concerns.

Issues to be Considered

Provide Security for Building Occupants and Assets

Before designers implement any plan, they should consider the idea from the outlook of potential dangers its inhabitants might face. Elements include the protective magnitude, will it be applied to design the building? The function of the edifice? The popularity of the residents? And its proximity to high-security risk environments.

The Layout

The layout of a property is essential but often ignored for security purposes. Architects can consider the landscape to design buildings surrounded by natural elements like trees, rocks, undulating elevations, and falls in the topography of the land.  Also, by reducing the number of blind corners a building structure has, crafting the house in such a way that light reaches further provides an impression of the sanctuary and allows other security measures to work efficiently.

Fire Protection

An architect must plan for the fire protection of a building. It often consists of taking an approach by analyzing all the components of a building, including the materials it will be built with and designing a holistic fire safety package. They will also have to design and implement a fire sprinkler system.

Safeguard Resident’s Wellbeing and Safety

we can connect some distress and sicknesses to hazardous or unsanitary building design and set-up. Preventive building methods that consider issues such as ergonomics, electrical safety, indoor air quality, fall protection, and accident prevention can thwart such occurrences.

Modify houses to Mitigate Natural Hazards

Designers should be conscious of ecological factors. For example, riverine areas, homes must be physically sturdy. Also, in some areas, houses have to be made strategically with sturdy glass or built at least over a story building, or detail fortified roofs and walls to mitigate natural hazards.

Other Issues

Lighting: A central element of any home defense apparatus. Meticulously crafted and synchronized internal and external lighting techniques will provide dissuasion to an extent.

Boundary Security: Consists of features like ramparts, walls, hedges, fences, and environmental barriers that guard entryways. Others are the intelligent placement of windows, entrance points, and avoiding dark spots in the design.

Identifying Incursions: These are the many forms of motion sensors and distress signals. Besides, there is equipment that picks up signals from breaking glass or if apertures and doors are unlocked. Mobility detectors that track movement are also suitable.

Observation and Electric Eyes: These are closed-circuit cameras and espies.

The architect should know beforehand if they will be installing these devices so that they can tailor the house specifically for them. For example, the placement of fiber-optic cables. Besides, they also have to decide if there would be a command center or safe-house in the building plan.

Homeowners should equally understand what identity theft is and how to protect themselves accordingly. Before, these thieves used cyber means (phishing attacks) to steal personal information, but this is not the case anymore as these identity thieves take credit cards, checkbooks, and utility bills from homes, vehicles, and offices.

That said, it’s pertinent that protective devices aren’t suffocating or stifling, but it’s also crucial that these apparatuses are discernible and conspicuous. For example, closed-circuit cameras have preventive functions and also gather information at the same time. So they must be evident and noticeable.

In conclusion, there are several security-related issues architects should be aware of at the outset of design. Nonetheless, here are the important ones. First, good security is always an interaction between three factors: physical and design hurdles, which could be a vegetative plan that hinders access. For example, where doors and windows will be placed, their width and number, security patrols, and electronic protection are achievable due to modern technological advancements. The architect must consider all these while designing a secure house.