I started writing and speaking about physical and logical security convergence years before I started seeing measureable results in actual security solution deployments over IP networks. The next phase of convergence is cyber, and this sounds as foreign to some people as “IP networks” did in 2004. The important thing to understand about convergence is that we never actually do converge. We never reach the end game state in the collaboration between evolving technologies and security practices. Security convergence is like crime; it evolves but never actually ends. So how does this continuous convergence impact your business plans?

First there are long term trends to consider, cloud computing being the elephant in the room that will change the fundamentals of technology purchasing. This will happen and Google, Amazon.com, eBay and countless others are quietly building this global infrastructure today. Cloud is a huge economic advantage but it also has an equally important benefit, security. For the first time it provides an opportunity for the IT industry to build security into the front end of the process, rather than as an afterthought. Success remains to be seen, but I am an optimist.

Cloud technology aside, why is basic security such a problem? In a word: trust. In several words: authentication, identity management, and secure access. Where is your business in regard to these products and services today? Passwords are in the process of being replaced for the simple rationale that they have to be. They are no longer secure. You can’t buy gas without dual factor (zip code) authentication. From Wal-Mart’s supply chain to Internet purchases, more biometrics and encryption solutions will be in your future.

Another huge trend that we all utilize today is mobile computing. It is tied to security is a big way. Today, lost and stolen laptops account for almost 60 percent of the PPI (personal identifiable information) and IP (intellectual property, the other “IP”) information that companies lose every year. What happens when this data is increasingly stored on handheld computing devices? Does that number jump to 70 or 80 percent? Speaking of high percentages, according to the Verizon cyber 2009 report, 70 percent of former employees admit to stealing proprietary information when they leave a company. Half (50 percent) start stealing 30 days earlier, when they know the ax is falling. I think the HR departments in these companies need updated training and new solutions, like keystroke monitoring software and clandestine video surveillance? Do you provide solutions?

At day’s end, these major long term trends involve key technologies that can be sold today, along with hands- on training and support. The puck is moving fast around the rink and your customers cannot keep up with the digital pace of the game. They need you now! Cyber crime is a one trillion dollar global business. Get out in front and learn these new technologies and understand the threats (human and digital) that are both existing and emerging. Crime is nothing new. The interesting thing about our digital age is that crime will evolve to exploit the technology faster than the security industry can provide defenses. There is your opportunity! Security convergence never converges. Secure the mindset and talent to answer the call. Provide the education (training as a service) and products your customers require to defend themselves. Policing today has advanced from being reactive to intelligence led, and currently is moving toward a “predictive” model. These digital support services will eventually be provided in the cloud to complement traditional (physical) policing. Integrators need to evolve, just like law enforcement. Continuous convergence requires going with the current and always moving forward for survival… like a shark.