How can security partnerships help to mitigate increasing cyber threat?

28 Jul 2022

Digital transformation has seen both the physical security and cybersecurity industries evolve rapidly over the last decade. This has drawn the two much closer together, united against a threat that can traverse both the physical and cyber realms. The opportunity this presents is significant, yet there are also risks.

Forward-thinking organisations are now looking to protect their entire operation from both a physical and cyber security perspective, in a single homogenised approach. But what does this mean for the physical security professional, and how are the roles of physical security and IT technicians set to change as physical security hosted in the cloud increasingly becomes the norm?

Moving away from siloed security

Advancements in cloud, the IoT and the sharing of data mean that legacy analogue security technologies are rapidly becoming obsolete, in favour of intelligent, connected physical security solutions which can share data to improve security and enhance business operations. Yet, without the correct network security protocols in place, vulnerabilities can be inadvertently introduced, such as exposing backdoors into a network as a result of unsecured devices.

While businesses should be employing the highest levels of physical and cyber protection, this is difficult to achieve when implemented in a siloed way. In May 2019 vulnerabilities were discovered in network physical access control systems that allowed hackers to control doors, install malware and launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, all while circumventing the security measures in place[1]. In this scenario, it was the physical security system that was compromised leaving the business wide open to attack.

Convergence between cybersecurity and physical security offers a solution to bring the two facets together in partnership, increasing resilience and enhancing preparedness to identify and mitigate threat. The resulting overarching, holistic view of an organisation’s security posture will enable all points of connectivity to be thoroughly assessed and managed; this is critical as cyber and physical assets become increasingly intertwined and the attack surface is increased.

Partnerships for success in a cloud-enabled world

Yet, as digitalisation and cloud migration make network-connected devices and services the preferred configuration, there is a risk that those physical security professionals who are unprepared for the new era may be left behind. Connecting physical security to the cloud has countless security and intelligence benefits for the end-user. Yet for those physical security installers who do not understand the benefits of cloud physical security solutions, the advantages it affords will be out of reach without taking steps to learning the language of IT and partner with a capable cloud provider. This will leave them unable to pass these benefits to their customers resulting in a smaller pool of low-scale projects.

In order to remain competitive, physical security specialists must begin arming themselves with knowledge of network connectivity, data collection and the power of analytics. This will help them position physical security technology as more than just business protection, but rather a business opportunity. Close integration with IT and cybersecurity partners will place the physical security professional in a far better position to work with the latest devices, technologies and platforms to improve business operations for their customers.

As physical and IT security increasingly converge, physical security professionals should be looking to align themselves with vendors through trusted partnerships. Working with a provider who can help them understand the benefits of cloud physical security and the importance of working collaboratively with IT, will enable the physical security professional to work with confidence, applying cutting-edge technologies to meet today’s business requirements without compromising network and system security.

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