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Layers of Defense in Depth

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Layers of Defense in Depth

Any defense-in-depth program in the cannabis industry needs to ensure that appropriate types or levels of capable guardianship exist. Some elements of an effective defense-in-depth program include the following guardians, used in a layered approach:

green-rush-icon1.pngSite Work Elements: Are there elements around the site or asset that enhance or impede physical security? Has the organization identified and addressed security-related issues or vulnerabilities around the facility or asset?

green-rush-icon2.pngBuilding Elements: Are there architectural elements that delay, deter, and/or defeat efforts against entry? What are the structures made of? Where are locations or areas that allow entry (doors windows, roof hatches)? Always consider a 360-degree perspective (“up, down, and all around”) when identifying these vulnerabilities related to building construction and design.

green-rush-icon3.pngAdministrative Controls or Elements: Does the organization have comprehensive policies and procedures related to the physical security of the premises, including emergency response to human threats, such as robbery? Are staff properly trained in security practices?

green-rush-icon4.pngDelay-Based Elements: Are there physical security measures that slow or delay an adversary’s path of attack? Delay measures include access control (gates, fences, locks), using the natural environment (CPTED, ditches), and guard forces. Often, delay measures also serve as a form of psychological deterrent.

green-rush-icon5.pngDeterrence-Based Elements: Do your physical security measures make the threat perceive that the costs of entry outweigh the benefits? Signage, lighting, CPTED-based measures, fencing, and other visible indicators of effective security all have a deterrent value.

green-rush-icon6.pngResponse Elements: What is your physical response to an incident? What forms of public law enforcement exist? Are they effective and reliable? What is their response time? What types of private security personnel exist?


Read more about cannabis security in "Securing the Green Rush." 

Brian R. Johnson is a professor of criminal justice at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His research is related to criminal justice policy issues and practices, and his publications focus on management, criminology, crime prevention, and security.

Christopher A. Kierkus is a professor of criminal justice at Grand Valley State University. He has published on a wide variety of topics including firearms policy, drunk driving prevention, child protection, and applied security issues including economic espionage, and situational crime prevention.