The Fundamentals of Security: Deter, Detect, Delay

RGM Security banner containing A security guard confronting a thief on site

Many people know that security is all about defence but what many don’t realise is that there are different kinds of ways to defend. You can protect your business and assets using all of these ways, so it is incredibly useful to know them to ensure that you have a solid security strategy in place. This article aims to help you implement the best defence for your business by outlining the three key fundamentals of security: to deter criminals, to detect any security threats, and to delay their entry or their impact if they have breached your security.

The 3 Ds of Defence


Physical deterrents are the first line of defence for any business, where they aim to deter or discourage a potential threat from occurring in the first place by suggesting that a successful attack is unlikely due to strong defences. These prevention measures are usually found around the exterior of a business and are effective tools in instilling doubt or fear of the consequences into the potential offender.

Examples of security deterrents include:

  • Warning Signs – such as “CCTV in Operation” or “Premises secured by RGM Security.”
  • CCTV Cameras – makes sure that they are visible from the outside of your perimeter.
  • Security Lighting and Motion Sensors – most crimes tend to happen at night so illuminate your perimeter and you’ll reduce the risk for your business.
  • Fences – these could be electric, fences with barbed wire on top, high fences, razor wire, rotating spikes, anti-climb paint or thick bramble bushes.
  • On-site Security Presence – your perimeter may need static guarding.
  • Gates and Access Control – making entry as difficult as possible can discourage opportunistic burglars.

Don’t have warning signs to deter potential thieves? To download and use our free A4 Security Sign, you can print it here!

warning sign


Deterrents aren’t going to discourage every potential attacker, so it’s essential that you have other defence measures in place. At this stage of a threat, i.e. when a decision has been made to attack your business, you need to be able to detect it, monitor it, and respond to it. Detection measures are present in both the exterior and interior of a business and they are effective in making you (or your security team) initiate an appropriate response to a threat as early in the attack timeline as possible.

Examples of detection measures include:

  • CCTV Cameras – we recommend fixed and pan-tilt-zoom cameras.
  • Alarm Systems – to alert security personnel when unauthorised access is attempted.
  • Security Lighting – to help the cameras monitor movement within the perimeter.
  • Motion Sensors, Contact Sensors, and Glass Break Detectors – to help you track where your security has been breached and their direction of travel (fence-mounted sensors, underground movement sensors and/or passive infra-red sensors. Infra-red beams and/or microwave beams etc).

With a perimeter intrusion detection system and CCTV camera system capable of detecting and tracking an intrusion at all times, you can monitor a whole attack which is necessary for an effective response and for your business to get back any loss of information or assets that may have been moved off-site.

A cctv camera behind a barbed wire fence


Delay security measures are your last line of defence with the aim of preventing an attack, but they also work to maximise the time between detection and an attack breaching the perimeter. This is essential to ensure enough time for an appropriate response to be triggered and deployed so that the threat can be defused.

Examples of delay measures include:

  • Exterior Physical Barriers – fences, gates, access control, trenches.
  • Interior Physical Barriers – locks, safes.
  • Digital Security Barriers – encrypted passwords, access control.

With these three fundamentals of security in place, you can be sure that your business will be sufficiently protected!

A fence with deter detect delay written on it

What we can do for you:

RGM Security offers a wide range of security services as well as penetration testing to check your defences and threat awareness training for your staff.  If you need training or just advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us!


Need more help or advice with your business’s security? Check out our other useful articles:

6 Tips For Running Effective Threat Drills

Password Security: 10 Tips to Keep Your Passwords Safe

4 Ways to Prevent a Cyber Attack on Your Business

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