A day in the life of a Physical Security Advisor
7 February 2024
We’ve been given a sneak peek into what it’s like working on the front line of UK NACE.
This week we spoke to one of our highly regarded Physical Security Advisors. He advises the UK government and international partners on how to keep their sensitive information safe and secure. Here’s what he told us about his role.
So, a day in the life of me… a normal day? If only there was a normal day
First thing I do when I get into the office is check my emails that have come in overnight or later the previous day, as I tend to start and finish early.
Many of the emails I receive are requests for technical security briefings from government departments, military training establishments and an increasing number of organisations that form part of the UK’s critical national infrastructure (CNI). This work means I spend half of my time out of the office on visits.
In addition to briefings, many customers (as I call them) request advice on technical security matters which directly affect their organisations. They want guidance in areas where they conduct sensitive work and hold sensitive conversations; conversations which they would prefer to remain secret.
It’s often useful to actually go out and visit these customers to conduct a survey and provide an assessment of their workplace on site, so that I can help them identify and secure the gaps in their security.
I’m asked to give expert technical security advice, but often the advice I give first is around the physical environment, the security culture and personnel security of the organisation.
If you don’t do the basics right, you’re leaving yourself open to not just a technical attack, but many of the other attack routes that an adversary (someone who wants to steal your secrets / IP / critical information) could exploit.
In simple terms, there is no point installing the strongest door you can buy if a member of staff leaves it open.
Similarly, there is no point creating a very secure space to have sensitive conversations if you’re going to allow mobile phones and wearable tech into the space.
Your personal electronic devices could be listening to everything that‘s being said!
Testing the tech
As part of our Research and Development programme, we assess many bits of kit to understand if they could provide an attacker with the ability to use equipment to eavesdrop. That means I get to try, purely as a novice techie, to understand how easy it would be to manipulate equipment.
Novice techie, I hear you say… well, I am a physical security adviser primarily, but it takes all sorts to work at UK NACE. We’re a diverse group who are curious and persistent, and enjoy staying up to date with advancements in technology.
Can you relate? Visit our careers website and sign up to our job alerts to stay up to date with our latest vacancies.
UK NACE is the UK’s national authority in protecting technical security, providing guidance and operational support to the UK government and Friendly Foreign Governments.
We protect against technical espionage and prevent organisations’ information and premises from compromise.