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5 Reasons Why Enterprise Readiness is Vital in Physical Security

It wasn’t so long ago that organizations had a clear separation between their physical security and IT operations. However, as connected devices became the norm in physical security, the intersection between physical security and IT has expanded and become critically important for enterprise readiness.

The problem? While most IT departments have adopted ” enterprise-ready ” solutions and processes,” physical security teams have found this much more challenging for various reasons—including the fact that they often lack the tools commonly available to their counterparts in IT. This exposes physical security devices in several ways, from cyber vulnerabilities to compliance gaps and their everyday availability. Enhancing enterprise readiness in physical security is, therefore, vital.

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 needed, ensuring their consistent availability is a critical challenge for enterprise readiness.

The key to maximizing device availability and ensuring enterprise readiness is having comprehensive visibility into the physical security devices themselves and problems with related network assets. Achieving that kind of visibility can be particularly challenging when dealing with large and varied fleets of devices, often deployed across large areas and multiple locations. However, achieving that visibility can help organizations detect problems rapidly, diagnose those issues, and respond in real-time to address them. This visibility can help organizations achieve enterprise-ready physical security by boosting device availability.

Reason #2: Cybersecurity

When the U.S. National Cybersecurity Strategy document was published earlier this year, it stated 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 expose them 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

Organizations must harden and maintain their physical security devices reliably and consistently to ensure their physical security is enterprise-ready. They also need to replace devices 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 and achieve enterprise readiness.

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 technology imports, including physical security devices (including related components, such as microchips). Meanwhile, organizations must ensure their physical security devices comply with IT standards and policies.

Organizations must comply with external (legal) and internal (IT) requirements to achieve enterprise-ready physical security. 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 they discover, thereby enhancing their enterprise readiness. 

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 – particularly 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 must streamline processes, increase visibility into device performance, and improve 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. Organizations can boost their cost efficiency and achieve enterprise readiness by similarly automating other aspects of monitoring and maintaining physical security devices.

Reason #5: Future planning

By planning and budgeting accordingly, physical security teams can ensure they’re prepared to keep their devices running reliably and securely. In particular, this means preparing to replace their physical security devices before they 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.

Organizations need to streamline and automate this process to achieve enterprise-ready physical security 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 physical security and IT professionals and leading manufacturers of physical security devices, the guide provides specific recommendations that can make a real difference for various 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 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 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.



What initial steps should an organization take to assess its enterprise readiness in physical security?

Organizations should first conduct a comprehensive audit of all physical security systems and devices to assess enterprise readiness in physical security. This audit should evaluate current cybersecurity measures, device lifecycle statuses, legal and IT standards compliance, and overall integration with IT operations. This foundational assessment helps identify gaps in enterprise readiness that need to be addressed to enhance overall security.

How can organizations measure the impact of enhanced enterprise readiness on their physical security operations?

Organizations can measure the impact of enhanced enterprise readiness by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) related to downtime, incident response times, compliance breach instances, and overall cybersecurity incidents. Improvement in these areas after implementing enterprise-ready practices indicates a successful enhancement of physical security operations.

What are the most common challenges in achieving enterprise readiness for legacy physical security systems?

Achieving enterprise readiness for legacy systems involves challenges such as integrating outdated technology with modern IT infrastructure, addressing inherent cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and ensuring compliance with current regulations. Organizations must develop a strategic upgrade plan or consider phasing out non-compliant or irreparable legacy systems to enhance their enterprise readiness.

Can enterprise readiness in physical security influence an organization’s overall digital transformation strategy?

Yes, enhancing enterprise readiness in physical security can significantly influence an organization’s overall digital transformation strategy. As physical security becomes more integrated with IT, improvements in security protocols, device management, and compliance can drive broader IT innovations and efficiencies, reinforcing a holistic approach to digital transformation.

What role does staff training play in achieving enterprise readiness in physical security?

Staff training is crucial for achieving enterprise readiness in physical security. Training programs should include best practices for cybersecurity, proper handling and maintenance of security devices, compliance awareness, and emergency response procedures. Equipping staff with the necessary knowledge and skills ensures that physical security measures are effectively implemented and maintained, enhancing the organization’s overall enterprise readiness.

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