A joined-up solution to converging cyber and physical security challenges

26 Feb 2020

IT security and physical security have, until very recently, been regarded as two very different and discrete industries; the former dealing with the defense of software and systems, the latter with the physical installation of cameras and other hardware to protect people, premises and assets, with little to no correlation between the two.

Yet the recent and rapid adoption of IoT devices has brought the two disciplines much closer together, with cloud-enabled IT systems able to harness the data from connected surveillance technologies to improve security and unlock powerful business benefits.

Physical security, and it's connectivity in the cloud, has piqued the interest of today’s IT manager, eager to harness the capabilities of integrated physical technologies, with the powerful analytics they can provide. This presents a competitive challenge to the physical security industry who may not be fully up to speed with the ‘as-a-service’ business model and capabilities of cloud technology. While the two industries could effectively be in direct competition, there is another option. Both IT resellers and physical security vendors, working in partnership, could introduce a compelling offering, meeting the requirements of both physical and cyber security, and combining expertise and knowledge from each industry.

Growing appetite for converged security

Morphean’s recently commissioned survey illustrates this convergence of the physical and cyber security spheres. The survey, which explored the attitudes and behaviours of 1000 IT decision makers across the UK and Europe, revealed much about the growing appetite for physical security in the cloud. The results enabled us to gain a better understanding of purchasing intent for evolving security provision and to recognise the challenges facing the modern IT manager in the 2020s and beyond.

Download our 2019 Landscape Report: Hosted security adoption in Europe

Results revealed an increasing interest in VSaaS and ACaaS among IT decision makers. Of the 36% considering these solutions, 79% anticipated their introduction within 12 months and nearly 8 in 10 said that the integration of these services with existing platforms or emerging technologies, such as AI, would also accelerate adoption. Both of these solutions utilise the ‘as-a-service model’ which is already the model of choice among the IT community, avoiding large capital expenditure and taking advantage of fully supported, customisable and scalable solutions that integrate with IT systems and cloud infrastructure.

Uniting physical and cyber security

Interestingly, our survey results found that 77% of IT managers reported that physical security was not optimised within their organisations, with as many as 20% identifying it as a priority in the coming year. When we consider this in the context of the GDPR, there is increased pressure on organisations to invest in well-designed products and services with clear lifecycle support, facilitated by providers who can demonstrate impeccable security credentials and a thorough understanding of cybersecurity principles and requirements.

For the IT manager, confident about the security of their cloud provision and committed to optimising physical security within their business, it makes sense to unite both cyber and physical provisions now that the IoT and development of cloud infrastructure makes this possible. The bringing together of these two areas of security under one umbrella requires knowledge of both specialisms and an understanding of how cyber and physical security can complement each other.

The convergence of security platforms highlights the opportunity for providers who are well-versed in network infrastructure to partner with physical security vendors who already have proven expertise and an established customer base. A complete solution, offering both protection of physical environments and the cybersecurity of systems, will equip businesses with the necessary technologies to tackle a range of security challenges now and in the future.