ISC West 2013 and “convergence” have arrived. The vision of end-to-end security is a reality for the systems integrators who have rounded out their product lines, acquired internal skill sets, and strategically partnered to address it. The enabling technologies and price points are integrating end-to-end solutions and evolving security to new heights. Miniature sensors and mobile devices are the sophisticated endpoints driving unstructured data through faster networks and middleware to back-end storage and cloud architectures.
Security convergence is well-worn terminology describing our industry. However, the fact is that the physical security industry is not as quick to address new technologies and solutions as their IT peers. I believe this emanates from the justifiable conservative culture of an industry where the protection of lives, and not data, is priority number one.
The tech world is advancing the cloud model. This is a business reality. History repeats itself; last century companies shoveled coal and used water wheels to produce their own power to run the business until electric companies emerged.
A recent cover (Sept. 17, 2012) of InformationWeek highlighted the Top 500 Innovators and Rule Breakers. The article discussed new technologies like cloud computing, mobile devices and big data analytics as being critical to firms using IT to get closer to their customers. I was struck by the similarities to the future of security in general, and I wondered, “Who are the true innovators and rule breakers in our industry?”
As a security integrator, cyber crime presents a “clear and present danger” to your customers. Cyber crime is a HUGE problem that reaches from the K-12 education market to ongoing international negotiations at the United Nations. Rather than viewing cyber security as overly complex, look at the operation of your client’s business and do what you can at the local level to better secure it.
People hear the term “cloud computing” and conclude the underlying rationale is cost savings. I believe it is in fact security. While cost savings is no doubt a critical driver of adoption, I would ask a larger question: “What happens to the global economy and our national defense if the Internet cannot be secured?”
Over the last six weeks, I had strategic discussions and meetings with four separate companies across the security market about establishing a cyber consulting practice. In New York, I met the former police commissioner of three major U.S. cities, now the chairman of the board for a $1.5 billion firm specializing in digital forensic investigations. I also met with a global risk consultancy based in the United Kingdom providing strategic security advice to senior executives across various industries.