The now infamous Target data breach was transacted by malware being placed on the HVAC system servers. A casino had its “high roller” database stolen by leveraging the network connection of an aquarium thermostat to export the file from the internal network. Leveraging the physical security system’s camera devices a bank was hacked, revealing confidential information. These are just some of the examples of how IoT devices, especially at the edge of a network, can be exploited by cyber-criminals.
There’s a popular business quote that goes something like, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” But when it comes to physical security it’s not so easy – because the most meaningful measure is in what does not happen. How many intruders were discouraged and denied? How many secrets and goods were not stolen? And how many damaging data breaches didn’t happen? In demonstrating the value of a physical security team, can we get to a point where these values could be measured, tracked, and have rewards based on it? While for now that may be wishful thinking, maybe we’re a lot closer than you might think. The growth of metrics, analytics, and machine learning in physical security is heading us in that direction.
Do you think IoT devices as part of a physical security network are a blessing or a curse?
It’s happened: you had a major failure of one (or all) parts of your physical security system. Maybe it’s something relatively minor (like the CEO not being able to get access to their office), or something truly catastrophic that is in the news and has dramatically impacted the reputation of your company (and your team). What you should do (after taking a deep breath) to regain and rebuild not just the protection offered by physical security, but the trust and belief that this will never happen again? Here’s a few “best practices” that will start to repair the damage done.
Every security integrator faces this issue. Your customers purchase new physical security systems and devices in order to benefit from the security and risk-reduction features they offer. Once deployed, however, these devices can actually increase risk and liability if they stop operating properly without the user becoming aware of the disruption. The risk compounds when you consider that new IoT (Internet of Things) enabled devices are being introduced to the market and added to users’ networks at an accelerating rate.
To sense the scale and magnitude of changes happening in physical security it helps to put numbers to what is happening across the industry. There is no doubt that the last 5 years have brought a lot of changes to the industry – but can you put data to those changes and trends? To be able to do so is useful for multiple reasons.
Everybody is talking about it, and more and more people are using it. From self-driving cars to predictive analysis and everything in between, artificial intelligence, or AI, is the next big thing in technology (including physical security). 85% of Americans already use AI in some way, from smart devices to complex intelligence for business operations. AI can detect and react much faster than human eyes and hands, and manage complex technology easily, relying on highly sophisticated software to ensure constant and repeatable success. Most importantly, problems or issues that may get missed or overlooked by humans can be reacted to and prevented from becoming serious. In physical security, what might be easily overlooked can quickly become life safety critical.
Physical Security competes with other industries for talent, and there is (right now) a giant opportunity for the industry to be a career magnet for people at the forefront of technology and innovation. To be deeply involved in IoT, cyber-security, machine learning, and cool-as-could-be drone technology and robotics is a giant draw for the best new talent. And those are exactly the leading-edge needs facing the physical security industry.
ISC West (International Security Conference & Exhibition) is the largest security industry trade show in the United States, where security professionals can meet and mingle with over 30,000 of their peers to discover technology innovations and network with other professionals. Over 1000 exhibitors and brands are slated to attend the 2018 conference, taking place in Las Vegas at the Sands Expo Center from April 10-13. ISC West sees attendance from both physical and IT security professionals in many disciplines—dealers and integrators, architects and engineers, and end users from a wide variety of industries. Integrators in particular should be excited to experience the opportunities to improve their business by attending ISC West.
There are ideas and concepts that you come across that you realize immediately were not developed for your particular endeavor, but nonetheless are very appropriate. As physical security is becoming more oriented around industrial IoT, Big Data, machine learning, and other areas of data science there are some useful ideas for physical security professionals to consider. One of these is “data gravity”; the nature of large amounts of data to draw in applications and processes that take advantage of the presence of that data. If you’re running an IP-based physical security system, you may have already noticed that whether it’s a PSIM (physical security information management), Viakoo for automated system verification, or numerous advanced video analytics applications, there are now a lot more applications being drawn towards the data present in IP-based physical security systems.