As time marches on in physical security, sometimes there are clear markers along the way that fundamental changes have happened. We are all aware that IP-based physical security has taken hold, and the nature of managing and maintaining physical security networks has changed along with it. Is there a line we can draw in the last couple years to say “this is when it all really changed”? I would argue that 2017 is when a distinct change happened organizationally, specifically on how IT is sharing more responsibilities than ever before regarding physical security.
This past year brought a lot of attention to the cyber-security issues, especially the degree to which security systems have become targets of hackers. In some cases it is to use the camera devices as platforms to launch denial of service attacks, in others it is to access recorded video evidence, and in others it is to take control of the camera devices so hackers can use them for observation. As this threat has come into focus at the board and C-level, IT is often tasked to address the cyber-threats related to physical security.
Another change is in how compliance standards now have significantly more controls around physical security than ever before. Whether it’s PCI, NIST, NERC, TIA, SSAE, or many others, regulatory bodies are now making sure that physical security systems can be automatically verified and reported on in order to prove compliance. And just like cyber-security, it’s often IT that is called in to help make that happen.
Spiceworks, the leading online IT community, is another indication that at a fundamental level things are changing with respect to IT and physical security. If you’re not familiar with SpiceWorks, please check it out: https://community.spiceworks.com/security/physical-security. The fact it has over 16M IT professionals (including over 47,000 subscribed to the Physical Security Group) is impressive to start, but perhaps the most significant part is that this group is only a few years old, and has grown like crazy over the last couple years. This Group mirrors what Viakoo has seen the last few years; IT is becoming more integral to many organization’s physical security efforts.
Viakoo has joined Spiceworks and is sponsoring the Physical Security Group as our start to 2018. The timing is right…cyber-security, data governance, and risk management are all issues that cross the fuzzy boundaries between IT and Physical Security. Spiceworks exists (and Viakoo is involved) because they are a critical part of the industry being able to learn from one another and have best practices share more quickly and directly to solve real problems. Having a “watering hole” like Spiceworks also helps to de-mystify the issues involved, and bring a better understanding of the true complexities of a modern physical security system.
Not only do we believe this trend will continue and lead to more efficient solutions, but most importantly better safety and lower risk. If you’re a physical security professional already working with IT, ask them if they’re on Spiceworks and its Physical Security Group. Likewise, explore Spiceworks and get a sense of what questions IT is asking. We’re looking forward to a good dialogue and exchange of best practices – please join in!