Physical Security at Microsoft: Taking Advantage of Strategic IT Convergence


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Microsoft encompasses more than 670 sites globally. The Global Security team must protect resources at those sites. This task includes monitoring more than 23,000 pieces of hardware: card readers for physical access, cameras, fire panels, environmental alarms, biometric security systems, duress alarms, and additional devices and sensors. Global Security must also manage more than 150,000 active holders of access cards and more than 20 million system events each month (for example, users who have misplaced their access cards, maintenance alarms, unauthorized access, building fires, or natural disasters).

[...] This paper is for business and technical decision makers who are interested in learning how Microsoft uses the IT organization, Microsoft technology and products, and third-party resources to provide physical security services to Microsoft personnel and locations worldwide. Many of the principles and techniques that this paper describes can be employed to manage physical security within any organization. However, this paper is based on Microsoft experience and recommendations, and it is not intended to serve as a procedural guide. Each enterprise environment has unique circumstances; therefore, each organization should adapt the plans and lessons learned described in this paper to meet its specific needs.

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