SIS Blog

Strategies to Help with the Integration of Physical Life Safety and Cyber-Systems

by | Nov 24, 2020

integration of physical life safety

In a world of increasing overlap between physical and cybersecurity, it’s risky that so many organizations still operate disparate systems. Companies historically incurred the security risks associated with unconnected systems because of immature technology, costly infrastructure, and the lack of a centralized, global IT governance approach at the C-level. However, technology is now such that many different applications and devices are capable of integrating with the appropriate alarm monitoring integration system. To continue to delay system integrations with today’s technological advancements is to operate cavalierly, inviting a host of threats to exploit the organization’s vulnerabilities.

A Look Back at Security

  • An emphasis on physical security.
  • The separation of physical and IT security, especially concerning tangible assets, such as dams, transportation systems, pipelines, nuclear plants, water systems, and more.
  • A lack of tech governance at the C-level.
  • The focus on virus threats and detection at the desktop level.
  • Emphasis on external IT threats.
  • The mitigation of external intrusion threats mainly through the use of firewalls.

As the technology evolved, physical security mostly stayed its course while cybersecurity spun up and operated independently. Both physical and cybersecurity acted as autonomous systems, which scaled and increased in complexity. At one point, integration either wasn’t possible, or it was cost-prohibitive, but not anymore. To not centralize and integrate security systems now would be to do so to the detriment of the organization and that which it attempts to protect.

A Review of Current State Security Risks and Siloed Systems

  1. Network and data security
  2. Electronic monitoring through cameras and access control
  3. Physical security (guards, etc.)

Each segment carries its security risks, but there is also significant overlap. For instance, a rogue actor may successfully bypass a guard at the gate but raise their suspicion. The person may partner with an internal employee who grants them access to the building where they download confidential data to a device connected to the network. The guard may be searching for the intruder. At the same time, a surveillance camera captures footage of the employee, allowing him inside, and the data security system flags a non-permission-based download of confidential data. When these security components operate independently of one another, it is possible that the intruder leaves the building with stolen data in hand and avoids being detained.

It is clear that disparate systems present clear and present threats, including:

  • The risk of theft is significant.
  • A lack of a centralized system that identifies issues across security segments and reports in real-time.
  • Siloed functions working independently with their processes and procedures.

The Benefits of an Alarm Monitoring Integration System

Security Information Systems Specializes in Integration

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