More Locks = More Security?

This morning, I went for a walk and came upon this rather formidable cell tower enclosure. Usually these things are behind a chain link fence — this one is behind a block wall and has a stout gate. After the 2022 substation attack, I can appreciate seeing stronger protection to critical infrastructure.

In this case, however, I have quite a bit more concern:

There are four locks holding the chain that holds this shut. There’s a great chance that this is being done to allow multiple different parties access to the tower (perhaps there are a few different radios on site, or work is ongoing).

The problem is, the lock on the far left, and the newest looking one are simply combination locks. The older versions of these can be opened easily, without knowing the combination or using lockpicking tools by simply decoding it. Later versions of these locks were “improved” and made so that you have to use a small shim to bypass the code wheels and press a bar to release the lock.

There is a very old saying that a “Chain is as strong as its weakest links” and Master Locks are there to keep the curious at bay, they will not keep out somebody who wants to get in.

I’d recommend a BEST system with key control and multiple keys (or similar equivalent system) that has harder to cut locks, greater pick resistance, and can be done with one unit instead of chaining several.







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