Perimeter security comes from a built-in multipurpose system that detects threats, performs surveillance, and analyzes attack patterns. As such, it often serves as a network’s first line of defense against many dangers that can harm connected systems.

An airport that serves as the gateway to and from a country typically uses perimeter security made up of intrusion detection systems (IDSs), alarms, and 24-hour-manned closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to ensure that any criminal who goes in and out of a protected territory is caught.

In computing, perimeter security follows the same principle to protect valuable data. Various elements or systems work together to keep confidential data safe from unauthorized access.

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Why Is Perimeter Security Important?

Most businesses and customers rely heavily on interconnectivity. Online processes and operations have made robust security mandatory. Apart from collecting, collating, and interpreting data, cybersecurity should also be a top priority for companies that maintain confidential information.

What Elements Make Up a Perimeter Security System?

Perimeter security systems require a combination of cybersecurity devices and measures. That is because threat actors do not use a single tool to launch attacks. Here are some of the usual perimeter security system elements that companies use:

Border Routers

Border routers ensure that all traffic going in and out of a network is legitimate. Typically, routers act like traffic lights. They are responsible for directing traffic into, out of, and throughout systems.

Border routers are generally the last routers that ensure the traffic that goes in from or out to insufficiently secured or untrusted networks like the Internet stays safe from compromise. Think of them as border officials in an airport who make sure that nothing illegal comes into or out of their territories.


Firewalls follow rules to allow or deny the flow of specific traffic into or out of a network. Firewalls further filter traffic that flows through border routers.

In a sense, firewalls can be considered security guards in an airport. They check passengers’ bags to make sure they are not threats.

Intrusion Detection Systems

Intrusion detection systems (IDSs) detect and alert cybersecurity personnel to suspicious activities. These can refer to a set of sensors strategically placed within a network. They act as alarm systems that notify the cybersecurity team if something out of the ordinary occurs.

In an airport, IDSs can include the x-ray machines passengers pass through on their way in. These set off alarms when the person being screened is carrying a piece of metal.

Intrusion Prevention Systems

Intrusion prevention systems (IPSs) are more active than IDSs. While IDSs send signals to the authorities, IPSs can defend targets even without administrator intervention.

In an airport, an IPS can comprise automatic lockdown mechanisms that seal off an area in case of a breach.

Demilitarized Zones

Demilitarized zones (DMZs) are areas that are directly connected to firewalls. These do not contain valuable data.

In an airport, shops, cafes, and restaurants can be considered DMZs. People are free to roam around in them, as they do not require authorization to access.

As we said earlier, a combination of these elements makes up perimeter security. All areas should be secured and protected against all kinds of threats.

Knowing the answer to “What is perimeter security?” is the first step in understanding why strong access authentication and control are necessary. Perimeter security adds an extra layer of protection, particularly for logins, to ensure intrusions are stopped before they can do damage.