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5.4 - Physical Security

Exam Board:



2016 - Unit 1 

RFID & Tokens

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to attach tags to physical objects.


RFID tags can be embedded within 'dumb' objects such as clothing, packages and even animals.


RFID is used with security tokens (such as an ID keycard) to permit the access of authorised people to certain areas. 

RFID can be used by IT companies to track equipment and manage access.


This is the cutting up of documents (paper or CDs) into small pieces so that they cannot be reassembled and read. Sensitive data on paper or optical disc should be shredded when no longer required.


A lock can be used to prevent access to server rooms or sensitive data stores. Only authorised personnel with the right key will have access.

Physical Security Measures


Biometric devices require the input of a human characteristic (such a fingerprint, iris or voice scan).


The biometric data is checked against previously inputted data in a database. A match will allow access to the user. See more in section 1.1.

Privacy Screens

These plastic screens are placed over a monitor to obscure the screen to anyone except the person sitting directly in front of them.

This prevents shoulder surfing and prevents data from being read by unauthorised people nearby.

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Questo's Questions

5.4 - Physical Security:

1. Explain how locks can be used as a physical security method within an organisation. [2]

2. Explain what RFID is and how it can be used with tokens as a physical security method. [3]

3. Explain how biometric devices can be used as a physical security method. [3]

4. Explain how privacy screens are used to protect data. [2]

5. What is the purpose of shredding? [2]

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