For many years now the convergence of physical and logical security has progressed from concept to reality. The security cycle has evolved into a continuous model of technology adoption, financial justification, and new security policies to address new threats.

The macro trends for today’s security integrators to understand are twofold:
(1) We live in a digital world of systems and networks, and (2) this digital world makes it much easier for cyber crime to flourish. Security integrators must step up to more responsibilities. The silo deployment days are over. As the challenges get bigger so does the market. The cyber crime problem is massive, and targets digital assets. This critical issue is much broader than protecting data in the IT department. We must recognize that cyber security protections play a wider role in securing both the business operations and the corporate brand. One common element is the security integrator’s role in integrating a digital environment to enable the larger security policy to be effective. Digital crime makes the emerging cyber security market a logical extension for physical integrators. Why not leverage cyber (digital) security protections from the perimeter inbound?

With the initial phases of physical and logical security integration essentially behind us, the next phase of convergence will embed cyber protections to enable trusted infrastructure for business operations. Our “digital assets” have become the company jewels. Innovative integrators recognize this change and are moving to address it. Installing digital video surveillance systems, command center solutions (PSIM), and access control / identity management software is one function; why not protect these from hacking activity while you are at it? If you are installing security solutions over IP networks and ignoring how easily they can be hacked, you are leaving your install base open to competitors who offer total protection. The threat is real, so is your opportunity. Digital protection is required both externally (perimeter) and internally (individual(s) access).

There will be more technologies to learn and new partners to embrace, but the return will be more growth and increased revenues. The fact is that the cyber crime problem is a clear and present danger to American business and getting serious executive exposure. This is not just intellectual property theft for competitive advantage, but also involves the manufacture of fraudulent products, and deploying secure supply chains. The time to incorporate cyber protections into an overall integrated security portfolio is now. Physical security integrators that have embraced IP networks and digital solutions are a lot closer to being a solution provider in this critical area then most people realize.

Security integrators with experience in large deployments have focused on the intelligent building market and/or developed federal business operations and partner channels over the last few years. As digital security solutions become more popular, securing them from breeches becomes a natural extension for organizations interested in preserving the integrity of their perimeter, digital assets, and overall security operation. More integrators are providing a single entity (through partnerships) for deploying solutions that “protect” the “digital” infrastructure.

The “digitization” of information technology has swept up the security industry in its wake. Physical security has been a laggard in this technical evolution because of an understandable cultural bias toward conservatism. Today is a great opportunity to answer your client’s need for cyber security protection, and the long-term industry concern over cyber crime. Crime is crime, and it has gone digital. In response, we need physical security expertise collaborating with partners and engaged at a higher level to fight it. This is an opportunity waiting to happen.