Physical Security Devices


Unless your facility is a rather hard-to-find, small facility that can use the philosophy of security through obscurity, your facility should probably make use of some physical security devices. What follows is a description of some of the available physical security devices. Table 2.1 includes a list of URLs for manufacturers and/or vendors for these products.

If you want some security while being able to retain the aesthetic look of your Macintosh, cable lock systems may be most ideal for you. For desktop machines such as the Powermac G4 and older Powermac G3, the systems have an anchor point and a cable that connects the CPU to the monitor. For the older iMac and the PowerBooks and iBooks, there are cable and lock systems which attach to the machines and loop through a hole in the desk. Look for ones that use hardened cable of some sort ”we've met some no- name brands where the cable can be cut with a pair of easily concealable wire-cutters. On some of the machines the attachment point is a slot about an inch wide and 1/4 inch tall, into which a proprietary locking connector fits. On others it's literally a hasp through which you can hook a lock or cable. On the most recent machines, it's a little oval slot about 3/8 inch long into which another type of proprietary locking connector fits. Having designed it, Kensington seems to have a lock on the current smaller security slot design and accessories that use it (, though some competitors are releasing compatible locking products. A number of other vendors provide the T-shaped locking key that fits the older, larger style security slot, and assorted hardware for using this slot to secure machines. Prices for the cables or locking connectors that mate to these types of systems tend to run in the $25 “$65 range. You can also find cable kits that are supposed to be able to attach CPUs, monitors , keyboards, and a varying number of peripherals. Prices for these range from $20 “$30.Intruding somewhat on the aesthetics, with costs varying significantly depending on the machine and whether you require professional installation, AnchorPad-type security systems are plates that mount to the desk or table under the machine and provide a way to lock the machine down to the plate. AnchorPad installation typically is somewhat invasive for the machine, requiring either super-gluing a lock-plate to it, or bolting the plate on through the bottom of the machine. AnchorPads appear as a 3/4-inch-thick pad with key-slots in the front, atop which your machine sits, so they don't interfere with any peripheral ports or significantly interfere with the appearance or cooling.

If aesthetics and cost aren't as much of a concern to you, entrapments or enclosures might be of interest instead. These devices are much like AnchorPads with covers. They are available for the older iMac, some of the laptops (for when they are not in use), the G4 cube, and the G3/G4 towers . These encase the computer and attach it to an Anchor Pad. Prices range from $100 “$145. A similar device that is supposed to work on any laptop encases a laptop in an open position. It costs $75.

You can also find alarm systems for computers. One system is called PC Tab. With it, a sensor is attached to each machine. Each machine in turn is attached to a central alarm panel, which can hold up to 32 machines. Modules can be added to attach more machine clusters to the central alarm. If a sensor is removed, an alarm goes off. The Phazer Fiberoptic Alarm System and LightGard are similar products. Alarm units are also available for laptops.

Tracking systems, to allow you to keep track of what hardware you have and what you're actually supposed to have, are also available. One such system is called STOP Asset Tracking. The system uses a barcode plate for each of your items. A barcode scanner and software system are available with it to help you start an inventory database. The barcode plates are linked to the company's international database. If one of your items is stolen, the company is supposed to help you work with the authorities to recover the item. You can buy a barcode scanner for the system, but it is supposed to be able to work without it. Additionally, if you have equipment that you loan out to your users, the system is also supposed to be able to keep track of items that have been checked out and alert you to overdue items. Information is stored in a Microsoft Access database.

For the less public environments, you might be interested someday in protecting your machines with biometric devices ”devices that do fingerprint, iris, or facial scans . At this time, biometric devices are mostly available for Windows operating systems, but many use USB hardware, so they wait only for some enterprising programmer to write the correct software for OS X. Sony is leading the way for OS X with a product that's currently called PUPPY Suite ( (As of this writing, the product is still pre-release, and the Web site is only partially functional.) This biometric device is a fingerprint scanner that can be integrated with the Mac OS X login system so that a user can authenticate with a fingertip. When such devices are available for the Macintosh, you will have to weigh privacy issues against security issues. (Frankly, we also have visions of a future where business executives need to take out extra insurance to cover their thumbs, so you might have other issues to consider as well.) Although you might not be able to protect your Macintosh itself with such devices at the moment, biometric access systems are available for buildings and rooms.

If you don't want to attach security cables to everything in your facility, but are still concerned that some of the smaller items (such as keyboards and mice) might walk away in someone's backpack or duffel bag, you might also try providing keyed lockers for your users, if space permits . This would give them somewhere to store most of their possessions while they are using the computer. Place the lockers somewhere where the users will feel confident that their possessions aren't going to be stolen while they are using the facility. It won't prevent someone from stealing loose hardware, but if your users aren't usually leaving their bags and coats on the tables, it's less likely that someone will get the bright idea to drop his coat on top of that new pro mouse and pick the mouse up with it when he leaves .

Depending on what type of facility you have, you may need to rack mount Macintoshes. Apple, of course, has provided neatly for this with the release of the XServe, but retrofit kits are also available for older Macintoshes. If you would like to rackmount G3 and G4 machines, check into the mounts made by Marathon Computer. They make one version that enables you to mount G3/G4 towers horizontally, and another version that enables you to mount the machines vertically. If mounting them horizontally better suits your needs, they also sell clips for the CD/DVD trays for use on models that do not already have retaining clips.

Table 2.1 lists URLs for a number of physical security products that you might find useful in establishing a secure environment for your computers.

Table 2.1. URLs for Manufacturers and/or Vendors of Security Products



Products manufactured or sold

123 Security Products

Security cameras , time-lapse VCRs

ADT Security Services

Security services

Advance Security Concepts

Media safes; electronic door locks

AnchorPad International

Cable locks, plates, entrapments


Biometric building access system. This URL seems to have died since we started the book, but the product line was interesting and worth keeping an eye out for its reappearance.

CCTV HQ Network

Fake security cameras, security camera systems

Champion Lockers


Computer Security Systems, Inc.

Cable locks, entrapments, plates, alarm systems, tracking systems, enclosures

Cutting Edge Products, Inc.

Fake security cameras

Federal Security Camera, Inc.

Fake security cameras

Cable locks

Kensington Technology Group

Cable locks; alarm unit


Biometric building access system

Marathon Computer


Minatronics Corporation

Fiber optic alarm system

Penco Products


Pentagon Defense Products

Fake security cameras

Polaris Industries

Security cameras, multiplexors, time- lapse VCRs



Republic Storage



Cable locks, entrapments, enclosures, tracking systems, alarm systems

Alarm systems for home/business

Security cameras

Cable locks

Security Tracking of Office Property (STOP)

Tracking system

Secure Systems Services

Cable locks, entrapments


Alarm units


Alarm units


Mac OS X Maximum Security
Maximum Mac OS X Security
ISBN: 0672323818
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 158 © 2008-2017.
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