Physical and IT security convergence is a trending industry topic once again as technology innovations come to the marketplace. It seems with every new innovation, there are also those looking for the loopholes to take advantage of it for selfish gain. In many ways, security can be like a game of cat and mouse, but proactive measures can create a solid foundation to build on, saving time, money, and resources over the long haul.
What is Security Convergence?
Physical and IT security convergence is the concept of blending both digital or IT security with that of physical security practices. Each organization can determine the right blend of needs, including internal processes and policies, equipment, software/hardware, and more. When security measures are strategically focused to integrate and complement each other, rather than exist in a single silo or department, for example, this is considered security convergence.
Done well, security can be a competitive advantage, increasing efficiency and reducing loss. When poorly implemented, however, they are costly, ineffective, and can even be a liability that opens the company to significant loss through lawsuits, fines, and theft.
The Goal of Security Convergence
Implementing physical and information security need to work together to see the bigger picture of security if liability holes are to be closed. Of course, the additional benefit of this is a positive impact to the bottom line. Here’s an example:
Company ABC decides to install door access panels as well as biometric employee lockers. In the past, the security or building maintenance may have handled door security and employee relations handle the employee lockers. Using the approach of convergence, ABC instead decides to look at the real problem: equipment leaving the premises due to employee theft.
Because ABC is looking at the root problem, they determine their need to update equipment policies, requiring specific items to be accessed only through secure lockers that keep data on who retrieves items and when. Security cameras at all doors, and access panel key cards are required to exit (except in the case of an emergency), creating a second barrier of loss by tracking data about when an employee enters and leaves the property.
This three-part approach: new policy, secure lockers, and door access panels, now has a return on investment tied to reduced loss.
When IT and Security work together, great gains can be made in overall and cooperative security measures so less falls through the cracks, and a more robust solution with true value can be put in place. And this is the real goal of physical and IT security convergence.