5 Reasons Why Enterprise-Readiness is so Crucial in Physical Security
It wasn’t so long ago that organizations had a clear separation between their physical security and IT operations. But as connected devices became the norm in physical security, the intersection between physical security and IT has expanded and become critically important.
The problem? While most IT departments have adopted solutions and processes that are “enterprise-ready”, physical security teams have found this much more challenging, for a variety of reasons – including the fact that they often lack the necessary tools that are commonly available to their counterparts in IT. This leaves physical security devices exposed in a number of ways – from cyber vulnerabilities to compliance gaps, and even the everyday availability of those devices.
Here are five key reasons to make enterprise-ready physical security a major priority in your organization.
Reason #1: Device availability
There are various reasons physical security devices can temporarily stop working as required. Not only can problems within these devices result in downtime, but other issues within their networks can prevent them from providing the service for which they were purchased and installed. Given the significant risk of devices being unavailable when they’re really needed, ensuring their consistent availability is a critical challenge.
The key to maximizing device availability is having comprehensive visibility – not only into the actual physical security devices themselves, but also into problems with related network assets. Achieving that kind of visibility can be particularly challenging when dealing with large and varied fleets of devices, which are often deployed across large areas and among multiple locations. But achieving that visibility can help organizations detect problems rapidly, diagnose those issues, and respond in real time to address them. By boosting device availability, this visibility can help organizations achieve enterprise-ready physical security.
Reason #2: Cybersecurity
When the U.S. National Cybersecurity Strategy document was published earlier this year, it stated clearly that “many of the IoT devices deployed today are not sufficiently protected against cybersecurity threats.” Much of that problem stems from the reality that most organizations do not possess the means to adequately and scalably harden and maintain their connected physical security devices. That can leave them exposed to the risk that hackers will gain access to their devices, as happened during the 2021 Verkada breach. To put that in perspective: the cost of the average data breach has reached $4.35 million globally – and $9.44 million in the U.S. – according to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach 2022 Report.
To ensure their physical security is enterprise-ready, organizations need to harden and maintain their physical security devices reliably and consistently. They also need to replace devices that are past their end of life, as those devices can be a particularly easy target for cybercriminals. By protecting their physical security devices from the risk of a cyberattack, these organizations can bolster their overall security posture.
Reason #3: Compliance
The legal landscape surrounding physical security devices is dynamic, creating pressure on organizations to take concrete steps to adapt to changes in laws and regulations. For example, in the U.S., the past 12 months have seen new cybersecurity requirements within the transportation industry and new restrictions on imports of technology including physical security devices (including related components, such as microchips). Meanwhile, it is important for organizations to ensure their physical security devices comply with their own IT standards and policies.
To achieve enterprise-ready physical security, organizations need to comply with both external (legal) and internal (IT) requirements. This requires comprehensive visibility into physical security devices, including their inner components. It also requires organizations to have a reliable and efficient way to address any compliance issues that they discover.
Reason #4: Cost-efficiency
As important as it is for organizations to invest in their physical security, cybersecurity, and compliance, it is also crucial for them to keep their ongoing costs down. Physical security teams have limited budgets, and the less they spend on endless break-fix cycles – and particularly on costly truck rolls – the more they have to spend on the latest and greatest systems they need to secure their organizations.
To make their physical security enterprise-ready, organizations need to streamline processes, increase their visibility into device performance, and improve their internal communication. For starters, given how expensive truck rolls can be, replacing as many as 70% of them with automated and remote processes can be a major cost-saver. And by similarly automating other aspects of monitoring and maintaining physical security devices, organizations can further boost their cost-efficiency.
Reason #5: Future planning
By planning ahead and budgeting accordingly, physical security teams can make sure they’re prepared to keep their devices running reliably and securely. In particular, this means preparing to replace their physical security devices before those devices reach their end of life. This is often a major challenge for physical security teams, as they must manually cross-check each device model with the relevant manufacturer website – an extremely time-consuming and unscalable process.
To achieve enterprise-ready physical security, organizations need to streamline and automate this process as much as possible. Only by knowing when their devices will need to be replaced can organizations do the necessary planning to ensure that they are replaced promptly and without leaving gaps in their physical security infrastructure.
A detailed checklist to make sure your physical security is enterprise-ready
To help you ensure that your organization’s physical security is enterprise-ready, we recently published a useful guide including a checklist of eight key requirements for all physical security operations.
Drawing on our extensive work with both physical security and IT professionals, as well as with leading manufacturers of physical security devices, the guide provides specific recommendations that can make a real difference for a wide variety of organizations. For each of the checklist’s eight key requirements, the guide includes specific technical criteria that you can implement.
Check it out to learn:
- What are the essential pieces of information you must know for each of your physical security devices?
- Why are physical security devices often vulnerable to cyber threats, and what specific steps should you take to harden your devices?
- Why isn’t monitoring your physical security devices enough to ensure they provide the service you need, and what insights into their networks do you really need?
- Why do many organizations’ approaches to managing passwords, firmware upgrades, and certificates fail to achieve enterprise-ready physical security?
- How can you know for certain which physical security devices do not comply with IT standards or government regulations (e.g. NDAA compliance) – and how can you address those issues quickly and effectively?
For these insights and more, click here to download The Guide to Enterprise-Ready Physical Security.