Has the line between physical security and cybersecurity blurred in the increasingly digital world?

Has the line between physical security and cybersecurity blurred in the increasingly digital world

Security leaders say that the connected nature of IP systems has challenged the security posture of enterprises, making them prone to cyberattacks

The current technological landscape has made the security industry evolve faster than ever before. In the current scenario, analog devices are mostly obsolete, and a higher frequency of connected devices has recently helped security technology undergo real and effective advances.

Currently, surveillance videos can be analyzed in real-time and automatic alerts can be generated when malicious behavior is identified. Smart audio tools and solutions are capable of differentiating and identifying raised voices or other sounds. Access control solutions are capable of restricting entry to intruders while informing the relevant authorities.

Protection of property and people has become more critical, and devices like sensors and IP cameras have put powerful new features in the hands of the security department. However, the connected nature of such equipment has generated new challenges that need to be handled by security teams and prevent any sort of compromise.

Analyzing the threat

CISOs acknowledge that physical security devices getting hacked is not a new concept. Smart devices hack incidents like the Ring hack of 2019. It resulted in domestic security and doorbells getting compromised across at least four states. Thus even big corporations with ample security measures are not immune to security breaches.

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The issue exists across different industries. As the number of devices that are connected via the internet increases, they end up becoming lucrative targets for cybercriminals. Webcams are so prevalent and are considered to be vulnerable; most enterprises opt for devices that have “webcam covers.” Smart vehicles can be compromised when they are in operation; similarly, even medical devices like pacemakers can be easily compromised.

Security leaders say that connected devices are more often than not the pivot point for security breach incidents. Even one compromised smart device like an IP camera will result in the entire network being vulnerable to attacks.

Threat actors can easily move through the network, searching for high-value sensitive data like financial or personal data about clients or intellectual property information. For enterprises that use industrial control systems, a hacked network can result in major disasters that could potentially impact entire countries.

How integrators and manufacturers help in keeping things cyber secure

CISOs say that in terms of physical security, the responsibility squarely lies on the shoulders of all those involved in the installation, manufacturing, maintenance, and operation of physical security equipment. It is vital that these personnel are given at least base-level knowledge about cybersecurity breaches.

Employees must be aware that every single new device being connected to the network opens up a potential route for the threat actors. Thus the protection of these devices at each level becomes critical. Thus enterprises must ensure that their IT teams work in close collaboration with security personnel.

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Similarly, integrators must ensure that systems are protected both during and after an installation process. They must avoid common misconfigurations that cyber threat actors are known to manipulate. Employees across all enterprise levels must be aware of the need to protect every device connected to the network.