June 7, 2024

Bending Silos: Convergence for Modern Security Posture

The pace of innovation is staggering. Technology doubles capacity every 18 months, creating exciting new tech-driven opportunities for humankind—some of which were deemed impossible just a few years ago. However, with the advancement of technology comes the inevitable evolution of security risks and threats targeting our latest innovations.

From a traditional perspective, the separation of duties between physical and digital security has required establishment of both security operations and budgets within an organization— creating silos. Although the silos aren’t completely artificial, software and hardware security controls have traditionally been geared toward one or the other—However due to the rise of advanced attack methods, cybersecurity has taken the primary focus in security. This one-dimensional approach will increasingly lead to gaps, some of which will create new security risks impacting business-critical operations if left unattended. Without emphasis on both realms, physical and digital, security posture is degraded.

The current state of physical security is similar to where we were 20 years ago in cyber—practitioners are facing a mind-boggling array of available tools, most of which are isolated with minimal collaboration, limiting the advancement of automation and other capabilities, including genuinely useful insights.

Much like the security industry experienced during the great boom of cybersecurity controls, physical security is in a critical period of development where “digital-like” capabilities are native to the controls. Automation will eventually take over, with repeatable functions becoming the driving factor to accelerate the innovation within the physical security industry.

Building on the idea of converged security, there are numerous modern examples that prove the necessity of convergence. As established, tech advances rapidly— and the capabilities of tech erases the line between physical security and digital controls. Gone are the days when physical assets were protected by physical devices solely. Security cameras are an excellent example— Once thought to be an analog way to actively “monitor” your physical assets, cameras have since evolved into easy-to-integrate IP address enabled devices optimized to use advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence for automation services such as anomaly or object identification.

Furthermore, traditional lock and key protections have evolved to leverage modern badge access systems, allowing ease of access to those permitted while also protecting the organization from unwanted visitors. According to the National Science Foundation, these new physical security controls ought to be known as “Cyber-Physical” systems: A system that “integrate[s] sensing, computation, control and networking into physical objects and infrastructure, connecting them to the Internet and to each other.

Going forward the security landscape will become nearly impossible to navigate without convergence of physical and digital security. Understanding how different attack vectors or threats will leverage both physical and digital systems is more than just a convenience, it will be a necessity. Threats will target both sides of the security, sometimes in a one-two punch attack—and therefore gain the upper hand by understanding that these teams are traditionally isolated. Converged security helps organizations better understand how to protect themselves from modern security threats.

The theory of convergence does not aim to “break” the traditional security silos— rather it “bends” them in an effort to provide security teams of all sizes a fighting chance to identify, respond, and remediate advancing threats through improved visibility and awareness.

To serve convergence, Secure Passage provides innovative security solutions for schools, communities, and businesses using our platform, which uniquely integrates intelligence, data, and insights for a comprehensive view accessible to all stakeholders. Leveraging our expertise in cybersecurity, homeland security, military, and public safety, we enhance and secure mission-critical operations.