Bank Vault

The Most Secure Places in the World and How they Are Protected

At Tag Systems, a large part of our day to day is helping businesses secure the assets they have worked so hard to obtain. We are in awe of some buildings in the world that are protected by incomprehensible technology and hidden away in locations so remote, that the chances of an unwanted visitor are little more than zero.

But where are these places, and what is it that they’re so desperate to hide away from the world? Here, we look into some of the world’s most protected locations, and the security measures that keep wandering eyes and thieving hands at bay.

Fort Knox

Perhaps one of the most famous on this list, Fort Knox is so notoriously well-guarded, that never has an attempt even been made to break into it since it opened in 1935. And once you know the security measures that are in place, it’s not hard to see why…

While the temptation of the US gold reserves might prompt pique the interests of some world class thieves, unsurprisingly the security surrounding it would be more than a little off-putting. Even if you managed to somehow get past the apache helicopters, tanks and concrete-lined granite walls that surround it, getting your hands on the goods would still be incredibly tough.

Not only is the 147.3 million ounces of gold squirrelled away by a 22-ton door, the code to it is held by 10 different members of staff, each of whom only know their part of the code.

ADX Federal Prison in Florence

Where should the most dangerous criminals in the world be detained? The US government resolved this issue in 1994 when they opened ADX Federal Prison, a male only supermax prison that houses criminals so dangerous, that they are kept behind a collective 1,400 steel doors in Florence, Colorado.

A 12 foot high razor wire fence, attack dogs and motion-detecting lasers deter any potential escapees, such as the infamous “shoe bomber” and one of the masterminds behind the devastating 9/11 attacks, Zacarias Moussaoui. The place is deemed to be so terrifying, that an ex-employee even referred to it as “a cleaner version of hell”.

“Doomsday” Seed Vault

Have you ever wondered what would happen to the world if it ended tomorrow? Well, some Norwegian scientists have created a plan to deal with that exact scenario, and have collected a range of crop seeds that would enable the earth to reboot in the instance of global disaster.

Around 1,300 kilometers from the North Pole in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago sits the “Doomsday” or Svalbard seed vault. The crops that it maintains are deemed to be of vital importance, and as such sits deep beneath the snow of the artic. It is designed to withstand a direct nuclear strike, and recently survived a 6.2 magnitude earthquake.

While it is very secure, it came under attack by a very unlikely source just this year. The contents of the doomsday vault were almost jeopardised when the permafrost surrounding the vault had started to melt due to global warming, and had managed to start seeping in. Mother Nature 1, Svalbard Seed Vault 0.

Federal Reserve Bank in New York

It goes without saying that wherever the US government chooses to keep the bulk of its wealth, it’s bound to be impenetrable. The Federal Reserve Bank in New York is that place, and it is indeed one of the most secure places in the world.

It actually holds more gold that Fort Knox, and is unrivalled in its security. The place is so protected, that human beings aren’t even allowed to enter the vaults- instead, items are placed on pallets, which are then taken in and out of the vaults by a team of highly advanced robots. A team of world class marksmen surround the area to warn off any unwarranted visitors. The bank is so trusted, that even foreign governments use it for storage of their own gold.

Bahnhof Underground Data Centre

You’d be forgiven for seeing a picture of this and thinking such a place could never actually exist outside of a villain’s lair in a James Bond movie… but you’d be wrong! The Bahnhof Data Centre is situated 100ft below a mountain in Stockholm, Sweden, and its servers protect some of the most sensitive digital information in the world.

Complete with simulated daylight, submarine engines and artificial waterfalls, the underground data bunker is near impenetrable. It was originally a military bunker, and is rumored to have the capacity to withstand a hydrogen bomb in the event of an attack. Whistle-blowing non-profit organisation Wikileaks are said to store some of their most sensitive documents in this facility.

Area 51

Area 51, whether rightly or wrongly, is often the subject of many a conspiracy theory- and you could argue that due to its super secretive nature, there is no way to say for sure what exactly happens in this stretch of desert in Nevada, U.S.

Many theories surrounding aliens, and UFOs have tried to shed light on this military base, with many attempted “break-ins” happening on a regular basis. Based on outward appearances, it seems to only be protected by chain link fence and intimidating trespassing signs- but any potential unwanted visitors are quickly met by police and removed from Area 51. There are also very discreet motion sensors surrounding the perimeter, which are rumored to be able to tell the difference between the presence of an animal or a human being. Alien research facility or just a base for testing experimental aircraft? We may never know.