Is There a Need for Physical Security & Cyber Security Convergence?
The Positives of Physical Security & Cyber Security Convergence
Communication between the two disciplines would assist the creation of a single, holistic security strategy that would be easy for an organisation to monitor and test.
Increased information sharing between the two security functions could also result in a more dynamic and engaged security team with joint accountability.
Cost efficiencies could also be gained from adopting a holistic and complete technology strategy to include both physical and cyber from the very start.
The Negatives of Physical Security & Cyber Security Convergence
These two disciplines involve completely different forms of technology and expertise. They exist to deal with the mitigation of totally different forms of terror or organised criminal methodology. Subsequently, response to potential threats needs to be addressed in entirely different ways.
The use of the term ‘convergence’ is perhaps misleading. To merge the two disciplines into one function or role would be counterproductive due to each of the functions requiring specialist knowledge to support and advise.
Finding a Middle Ground
Where there should be convergence, or at least a closer relationship is in the initial security strategy and risk identification. Both disciplines aim to ‘Deter’, ‘Detect’ and ‘Delay’ and there will be vulnerabilities identified within physical security solutions that can only be addressed by strengthening cyber security measures. For instance, control systems behind automatic barriers and remote monitoring for instance. Likewise, there will be vulnerabilities within cyber security strategies that can also only be addressed by the use of physical security measures. This will only be identified by convergence in security strategy and regular reviews by a committee or task force.
It would be beneficial for the two disciplines to work in harmony to ensure a complete and holistic security methodology. Because of this, each function should not operate in isolation.
Complete convergence would perhaps cause knowledge gaps and would not be beneficial in all cases. Strategy convergence however is certainly very beneficial for all stakeholders and could generate cost efficiencies and improvements in operational procedures.