As today’s world becomes more connected, and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow, our security needs will become equally as diverse. The physical security threats we face will also change as technology and society evolve.

As a result, a new standard that will advance commercial building security and reduce the possibility of telecommunications infrastructure disruption has recently been approved for publishing by the TIA TR42.1 engineering sub-committee: the ANSI/TIA-5017 Telecommunications Physical Network Security Standard.

The physical security threats we face will change as technology and society evolve, creating the need to update standards for physical network security.

The ANSI/TIA-5017 standard was initiated after the U.S. federal government identified a need – now, more than three years in the making (and with more than 30 participating organizations), the document will provide much-needed guidance regarding physical security from an infrastructure standpoint. It took a team of cabling, security and administration professionals, along with consultants who design security systems, to create it.

 

ANSI/TIA-5017 will provide specific requirements for protecting cabling infrastructure to prevent theft, sabotage and terrorism. But not only will ANSI/TIA-5017 provide guidance about guarding your telecommunications infrastructure – it can also be used to leverage infrastructure to protect other assets (people, property or premises) as a part of your overall security plan.

The document delves into areas like risk assessment, design, installation, leveraging intelligent building systems (IBSs) and administration. Although many standard documents are prescriptive, ANSI/TIA-5017 is much more descriptive. This allows each facility to develop its own security implementations that will fit current and anticipated security needs while staying within budget.

Download our Smart Cabinet Access System for Data Centers White paperThe standard maps three security levels (SL1 through SL3) you can select from to best describe the requirements of your particular installation:

  • SL1: Basic security
  • SL2: Tamper resistant
  • SL3: Critical security

From there, the document provides a solid framework and foundation for the thought processes, procedures and actions that will help you develop a specific security plan for either your telecommunications infrastructure itself or as part of the overall security plan for the facility – or both.

The first section of ANSI/TIA-5017 covers guidelines for risk assessments and creating a security plan relevant to your specific situation. The security plan is, or should be, a living process and approach to deal with risk management. As part of your security plan, you must:

  • Identify the potential for negative events and their causes
  • Reduce (and ideally eliminate) negative events
  • Limit the impacts of these events
  • Provide recovery from the events
  • Review the events and subsequent activities (whether or not there are impacts) to evolve the security plan

ANSI/TIA-5017 also includes:

  • Security requirements for telecommunications elements based on the appropriate security level
  • Security requirements for installations with protected distribution systems (PDSs)
  • Requirements for intrusion detection and surveillance
  • Use of AIM (automated infrastructure management) systems to enhance overall security

If you’re involved with secure facilities or security in general, I encourage you to obtain a copy of the standard now and review it. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. And, in the meantime, learn more about Belden solutions that can keep your network secure.

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