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Merging Cybersecurity and Physical Security: ASIS International Survey Findings

By January 16, 2020 January 21st, 2020 No Comments

With the rise of more sophisticated networks and devices accompanying the digital age, cybersecurity’s impact on the physical security industry has become an increasing hot topic as we enter 2020. More large-scale and highly integrated technologies come coupled with increasingly blended threats (also known as “multi-vector threats”) that expose security vulnerabilities within these sophisticated networks and devices.

ASIS International has recently released findings from its survey entitled “The State of Security Convergence” conducted with 1,000 professionals spanning across senior roles in physical security, cybersecurity, disaster management, business continuity, and similar fields. Participants answered from across the United States, Europe, and India, discussing the convergence of 3 areas:

  1. Physical Security
  2. Cybersecurity
  3. Business Continuity Management (BCM)

First off, what exactly does the word “convergence” entail in the security space?

ASIS survey participants define it as: “..getting security/risk management functions to work together seamlessly, closing the gaps and vulnerabilities that exist in the space between functions”.

Findings show that despite hype around the trend of physical security and cybersecurity convergence, only 24% of respondents have actually converged the two functions. However, when including business continuity, 52% have converged two or three of the functions.

Of course, with differing business needs come different ways of organizing security and BCM functions for every enterprise. However, results show that even with multiple models, so long as complete convergence exists among them they can effectively prevent threats coming from all angles – particularly when in a common operating picture.

The report also points out how successful security operations notably align physical security, cybersecurity, and BCM around a single security strategy. Underlying the focused strategy, a strong security leader, open communication and a healthy line of shared information are vital.

In terms of convergence of all 3 areas, for companies that have converged 2 of the 3 areas, 47% have integrated BCM with either their cyber or physical security functions, but only 24% of participants have merged all 3 areas.

All in all, while the topic of cybersecurity and physical security functions remains a hot trend into 2020, enterprises still have progress to make on taking preventative measures to merge the two functions so that more transparency exists across the organization with less security vulnerabilities when faced with a risk.

Organizations can seamlessly converge cybersecurity and physical security with a true unification platform for diverse security data like ReconaSense. By normalizing this disparate data into a common language, enterprises can begin to discover vulnerabilities and inefficiencies that – prior to convergence – were hiding in between the data silos.

The full ASIS Executive Summary of the study “The State of Security Convergence” is available for free on their website. The full report is complimentary for ASIS members and available to purchase for non-members.