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Physical Cyber Security

When we say protecting the UK’s critical national infrastructure it’s hard to understand exactly what we mean? And in turn why does it need protecting so highly and from who?


Infrastructure is really the umbrella term used for a multitude of different sectors like Communications, Defence, Energy companies, Government, Transport, Emergency Services and many more. According to the NCSC, the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure is defined by Government as; “Those critical elements of Infrastructure (facilities, systems, sites, property, information, people, networks and processes), the loss or compromise of which would result in major detrimental impact on the availability, delivery or integrity of essential services, leading to severe economic or social consequences or to loss of life.”

From what the Government and the NCSC state, it’s obvious how vital it is for these sites to be protected effectively to reduce any disruptions or cause national security issues. Because of this, permanent fencing systems are required for the outer perimeters of these sites creating formidable lines of defence against attack. Consistent with the CPNI website, fencing systems are put in place to demarcate the boundary, deter intruders, and provide delay against burrowing, penetrating, or scaling by an individual. But we wanted to know how temporary fencing systems could assist in protecting and securing CNI sites?

One approach which is seemingly popular with infrastructure sites is the ‘Onion Principle’. As many know a layered approach to physical security is the most effective in keeping intruders out. If the permanent fencing systems are in place as the first line of defence, then additional temporary measures could be deployed working inwards to delay intruders, safeguard staff and visitors, allowing time to respond.  For some of the UK’s renowned infrastructure sites, deploying a high security temporary fencing system around buildings or structures that need additional safety, could help secure the site further and stop attackers in their tracks. This could range from temporary measures around phone masts for the communications sector to being used around specific Government or Defence buildings that would be at higher risk of threats. Either way, a temporary fencing solution that is designed to hold up against force should be used as opposed to some traditional systems that are easily pushed, moved, or damaged to gain access.

Temporary Infrastructure - FenceSafe

When new infrastructure sites are being built or existing ones are renovated, including the upgrade of perimeter security, then many will need a tried and tested temporary fencing system to protect vulnerable areas whilst building commences. Many people forget that high security sites need to keep up and stay in line with the relevant threat levels that are posed. This means permanent fencing must be upgraded if needed or replaced with a newer system if damage was caused that would breach security. High security temporary fencing can be used as a placeholder around the construction zone, preventing any gaps in the fence line and breaching security.

Within some Critical Infrastructure sites, there are restricted areas that only authorised personnel can access with some staff members not having clearance. With this, could temporary fencing be used in conjunction with temporary access control in order to control the flow of people? Cordoning off areas or access points help minimise accidental entry or mistakes from happening as people know they can’t access. Although some traditional systems can be easily picked up and moved, FenceSafe is a great alternative thanks to the use of tubs that are ballasted to withstand force and the inability to be pushed over. There is also a range of fully temporary gates or turnstiles, like mentioned that can control the flow of authorised personnel into restricted areas.

Aviation Sustainability

So, safety and security for the UK’s Critical Infrastructure doesn’t have to just be permanent fencing and security guards protecting the perimeters. Temporary Fencing can assist in the protection of infrastructure in more ways than one.