Combining Physical and IT Security

The term security has become more complex in recent years.

With the emergence of the digital age, businesses have gained new methods for handling communication and commerce. However, this also means new threats have.

The field of cyberspace brings opportunities along with risks, which has led many professional organizations to place a greater level of importance of IT security. While physical security has always been an important objective at successful companies, merging these two together is important.

When IT and physical security are linked, organizations can minimize their vulnerabilities and guard themselves from threats more effectively.


Fotolia_144740766_Subscription_Monthly_M.jpgThe Growing Importance of IT Security

In businesses throughout all industries, physical security remains a popular topic. Everything from alarm systems to security tags for inventory have a big impact on helping a company minimize risk and guard against loss. While this type of security is just as important as always, there is another type of security which is only a few decades old.

IT security deals with the protection of sensitive company data. Because customers exchange sensitive information with businesses, those businesses in turn have an obligation to protect that data. If a person’s financial or personal information falls into the hands of unsecure parties, the results can be catastrophic. Image what would happen to your business if a person’s private medical records or bank information was stolen by a cybercriminal?

What Happens if Your Cyber Security is Lacking?

IT security serves a similar purpose as physical security. You know that your physical security measures help you guard against internal and external shrink, damaged reputations, and legal liability. However, all of these things can also befall you if your IT security is lacking. According to Chron, even small businesses need cyber security to remain safe.

Is Having Good Physical and IT Security Enough?It & Cyber Security

While you may think that IT security is complex if you’ve never dealt with it before, there are many solutions you can use to protect all areas of your business from digital threats. Even though these threats can evolve and become more severe over time, you can find the right fit for your organization and even upgrade your protection as hazards become more pressing.

While good physical and IT security are vital to any successful business, simply having these things in place doesn’t guarantee you’ll be protected from all types of threats. In fact, viewing these aspects of security as separate objectives can put you at risk for many different kinds of security gaps which can be exploited.

The Origins of Convergence in Business Security

As IT security became less of an option and more of an asset to commercial entities, the debate on how to combine these measures with physical security become more complex. Some of the issues brought up with keeping these aspects of security separate involved the miscommunications which could occur between security teams and the potentially negative effects of said problems.

Consider what would happen if a relationship with a vendor ended. While the vendor’s inventory may be moved out of the store and their access codes to alarm systems revoked, they may still have access to hub logins and passwords. If physical and IT security are handled separately, this means there may be a significant time frame in which the terminated vendor could still have access to important company information. Since the liability this presents is so severe, it is easy to see why combining physical and IT security has its benefits.

How to Encourage Security Collaboration

While the benefits of combining physical and IT security are apparent, many businesses struggle to merge these two aspects of their organization. Though they are similar in certain aspects, physical and IT security departments need pre-determined procedures and guidelines to follow if they’re to work together efficiently.

For starters, consider how physical security assets are linked to the digital world. Examples could include:

  • The Cloud: Even if you handle the bulk of your company’s accounting practices using paper measures, you probably have some of the information online. Linking it to the cloud makes it easier to access the data you need.
  • Mobile Integration: Even the most robust physical alarm-system out there can be made more convenient with mobile integration. This allows you to monitor the system regardless of your location.
  • ID Verification Protocols: Everything from thumbprint scanners to barcode ID-badges may be used by commercial businesses. Protecting the digital integrity of these systems is important for making sure they are not compromised.

Rather than relying on a third-party provider security professionals are now versed at ensuring network security as well as physical security for their systems. This could include running a parallel network, or choosing products that are cloud based and constantly updated. Simplifying things means less organizations and less equipment is involved – which in turn means your business is subject to fewer threats.

A Focused Security Initiative Breeds Efficiency

The main purpose of security is to stabilize your organization. By minimizing loss and eliminating the chance for threats to catch you by surprise, you enable your company to grow. Separating physical security from IT security often leads to unanticipated holes and exploits that crafty hackers can use to harm your organization.

Those who are in charge of the decision-making process when it comes to security should consider working with professionals who understand business security from a holistic perspective. Combining physical security protocols with proper IT security integration allows any business to enjoy a stable, affordable, and scalable approach to protecting their assets.

Looking to get started with merging physical and IT security at your place of business? Allied Fire and Security is here to help! Download our FREE Convergence White Paper below or give us a call at 509.321.4182 to get a free security quote for your business.

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