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The traditional approach to business security has generally been to place equal importance upon physical and cybersecurity, though to achieve this through the segregation of installed devices to be managed and maintained by siloed security professionals.
The idea being that if one system is to suffer a significant security breach, all sensitive data stored in separate networks will remain secure.
However, with more businesses turning towards smart technology, IoT devices, AI integrations and other similar systems designed to bridge the gap between physical and cybersecurity, modern IT and physical security teams are seeing the benefits of converging to strengthen general security postures.
By developing a converged business security system, IT and physical security professionals are able to combine skill sets and operational practices to offer a holistic view of all active security devices, helping teams to identify complex vulnerabilities and better protect businesses from multi-faceted threats. To help teams to achieve this, here are 5 steps for developing a converged business security system.
1. Create shared information policies
Often the main disconnect between physical security staff and IT teams is a lack of understanding of the main objectives that each department is looking to achieve. IT workers may attempt to access and adjust physical security devices in line with their own internal policies, accidentally exposing exploits or gaps in security that were previously covered by procedures only communicated to physical security staff.
With this in mind, the first step towards building an effective converged business security system is to develop a commitment plan outlining how both departments will share all relevant operational policies, procedures and educational resources. This process can begin with workshops in which teams share knowledge regarding existing systems and continue with the creation of a unified security database.
2. Address the needs of both teams
To further solidify a joint commitment to the development of shared security objectives, teams must work to create a combined security leadership team. Rather than electing token representatives from each department, it’s essential that teams choose experienced leaders with great authority in their roles.
These individuals will be responsible for communicating detailed information regarding the specific tools, processes and policies central to each department in such a way that opposing teams gain an operational understanding of these functions, as well as expand their own security skill sets to support convergence.
3. Build a trusted data layer
The main benefit of developing converged security systems is a gained ability to view usable data gathered from both physical security and cybersecurity devices in relation to one another. In other words, a bespoke framework must be created to combine collected information for further detailed analysis.
Creating a trusted data layer allows leaders from both physical security and IT teams to feed data collected from previously siloed systems into one centralised database, from here, the information can be enriched by data analysis programs to produce converged insights pertaining to the system as a whole.
4. Consider hybrid cloud infrastructure
Converged business security systems are often most effective when coupled with a cloud-based management platform. By combining the operation of all installed physical security devices with active cybersecurity software systems, teams can not only monitor and adjust physical hardware remotely, but also ensure that all operating systems are managed and maintained using the same basic processes.
Additionally, choosing to operate a converged business security system from within a cloud-based platform removes the need for businesses to install and maintain costly physical computer servers, with cloud-based servers capable of being monitored and maintained remotely by converged teams.
5. Remove information silos
With a trusted data layer, unified security database and cloud-based monitoring and management system in place, security teams should be suitably prepared to begin removing historic information silos to allow all active security systems and devices to freely communicate and share collected data from within one platform.
This process will involve configuring physical hardware devices like a class 1 div 2 camera and access systems to export collected data into the same management platform as all cybersecurity systems are linked to, allowing teams to view the entire security network from one converged system and develop new data analysis programs capable of producing insights directly informed by combined datasets.
Developing and implementing a converged business security system requires physical security and IT teams to work closely as a collective across all aspects of their roles. From creating new policies and procedures designed to appropriately combine both unique skill sets, to crafting bespoke management systems able to promote cross-platform data analysis, teams must work together to achieve convergence.