What are the three different facets of security? Which of the three do you feel impacts your own sense of security the most? How do these facets operate today in a country with open borders?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The first facet of any security system is physical security. Physical security is characterized by any physical aspect of security such as architecture, "security guards [or other personnel], protective barriers, locks," and others ("Physical Security"). Natural surveillance is one term that can be applied to when architects construct an area to enhance visibility, making it more difficult for intruders to gain access. An architect may design areas to have more open spaces, making them easier to survey. Open spaces also make it much more difficult for an intruder to pass or skirt the areas and then enter the premises. Other physical aspects of security can be "tall fencing, topped with barbed wire, razor wire[,] metal spikes" ("Physical Security"). Also, security personnel play a huge role in the physical aspect of security. When it comes to the issue of border control, all physical aspects can be implemented, especially all of the different homeland security agencies.

The second facet of security is technical security. Technical security includes any technology that is used alongside physical security measures to maintain security. Examples of technical security can be "intrusion detection systems, door alarms, [and] surveillance systems" ("Understanding the Three (3) Facets to a Complete Security Program"). In terms of border control, our nation's Border Patrol can use electronic sensors in the "deserts, canyons, or mountains" along the borders to "detect people or vehicles entering the country illegally" ("Border Patrol Overview"). Other technology used to monitor border control security  can be video monitoring and night vision scopes.

The third facet of security is operational security, which specifically refers to the policies and procedures determining what is secure and insecure and how to respond in the event of a security breach. Examples of operational security would be "emergency plans, crisis management plans, guard post orders, etc." ("Understanding the Three (3) Facets"). In terms of border control, operational security can refer to how to conduct traffic checkpoints in border areas, patrol cities and coastal waters, and conduct anti-smuggling investigations, especially preventing the smuggling of illegal drugs ("Border Patrol").

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