Enclosure for the Desktop PC
Is there a way to physically secure a Desktop PC. Not so much as to stop a physical theft, but data theft and that too despite the software options in place.
The solution is simply having an enclosure for the cabinet in such a way that it is impossible to insert any USB storage device in the ports, both front and rear. Such an enclosure should allow sufficient air flow and easy access to servicing and should hold all cabling in place.
First we will explore two commercial options and then we move to the DIY design.
First category is Metal Enclosures to house the PC Cabinet as a whole. Enclosure can either be closed from all sides except the front with a lock system, or it can be a completely closed enclosure. Two examples in particular are given below.
(Image Courtesy : Respective Websites)
In both cases as seen, the emphasis is on theft and access to the back panel. For the front panel, of course the USB ports can be disconnected internally. It does leave room to access the DVD/CD drive which is a huge disadvantage for concerns addressing data security.
The best example of CPU locker providing all round security is the CPU Locker Series by Computer Security Products, Inc.
Available in a range of sizes to cover right from the simple desktop to a server sized cabinet, this one provides complete lockout for all functions and access including the power ON/OFF. It fits in snugly in the cubicle and a unique cable management system. The CPU rests on a tray and slides out easily for maintenance and servicing. It has adequate ventilation, but can also accommodate additional fans. The steel used is good quality and fit and finish is top notch.
Details of the product can be found at the following URL
(All Images Courtesy Computer Security Products Inc)
For a rugged industrialised option, an enclosure for housing the entire PC, including the Monitor. It has the added advantage of keeping the elements out. An example of such an enclosure is below.
Links to the respective websites are given below
Now we come to the DIY part. Between the choices of materials ranging from Wood to Steel, the simplest choice is Acrylic Sheet or Plexiglass. It offers amazing flexibility and ease of use for hobbyists and enthusiasts. It comes in a range of colours and thickness. It can be cut, bend, joined and drilled easily. And the finished product offers a neat and clean look.
You will need the following to work with Acrylic.
Acrylic cutting tool. It is basically a blade at an angle to cut into the sheet. This type of tool can cut sheets up to 6 mm thick, beyond which you will need a circular saw.
Chloroform. For joining pieces of acrylic sheet together. Chloroform is a commonly used solvent to bond the surfaces for a lasting joint.
To begin with cut out six pieces of acrylic to constitute each side of the enclosure (Opposite sides equal). Mark the places to fit hinges, locking system and holes for ventilation. Use a common household drill to make the necessary holes.
Use Chloroform to glue pieces together. Be extremely careful not to inhale the fumes as it is a known anaesthetic. Sand Paper off the rough edges.
Check out this video on how to cut acrylic sheet using the cutting tool.
Check out this video on how to bond sheets using a solvent.
The final product should look something similar to this.
Image Courtesy http://clearpc.ca/