Guest Commentary: Three Resolutions for a Changing Security Industry

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Over the past years, the security industry has changed and with it emerged new challenges and opportunities. Today, cybersecurity, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are key trends that any large organization must address. In the security industry, it is important for organizations to realize these developments and formulate a strategy to meet client and stakeholder needs. Just as people use the new year to set major goals, so too can security leaders use the beginning of 2017 to make a plan to meet the industry’s biggest challenges. Below are a few resolutions that can benefit everyone in the security industry.

Resolution 1. Take Advantage of IoT

Why: The security industry is quickly turning towards IP devices. They enable better management, automation and remote access. These devices can also provide sensory input, like temperature levels, that can be easily monitored. Although IP devices offer unique security challenges, spending on IoT in the security industry has increased drasticallyin recent years.

Not only is spending on IoT increasing, the number of devices connected to the Internet is growing just as rapidly; every day 5.5 million new devices are connected to the Internet.

How: In order to meet the changing needs of organizations and their adoption of IoT devices, security professionals should anticipate the changes in demand for these devices and the impact they have on networks. Using paper floor plans to map these systems is cumbersome. Instead, organizations should invest in technology that simplifies the tracking or planning process, which allows the entity to take full advantage of their new technology.

Resolution 2. Coordinate with IT on Cybersecurity

Why: Cyber attacks are growing more advanced and more common. Even a single breach of a secure network is costly. When an organization or company network is breached, it costs them both in lost revenue and decreased trust of the institution’s security. Even if data is not lost, IoT devices can still be used to attack networks, making them unavailable to users. The large DDOS attacks in October were made possible by hacked cameras and other devices.

How: Because of these threats, it is imperative that organizations invest in the time and money to coordinate with IT on Cybersecurity. While there have been silos between IT and physical or facility security, those silos are no longer viable. To establish this coordination, the first step is asset management. IT and other departments should have a collaborative system for tracking devices and other assets, then work together to guarantee the security of devices and the network. An investment in cybersecurity is well worth the cost, providing both peace of mind and a safeguard against a damaging data breach.

Resolution 3. Take Advantage of Data Analytics

Why: An organization’s success or failure depends on the decisions it makes. Recognizing this, all companies and institutions use some kind of information to aid in the decision process. The more accurate the information, the better the decision. Both big data and smart data allow organizations to make more informed decisions. Taking advantage of these can allow an entity to recognize new trends ahead of others.

How: With the spread of IoT, the world of data analytics has grown much bigger. Access control and video surveillance systems are two examples where data can be captured and accessed providing crucial information to security managers. The key is to use tools that provide reporting and dashboards that make data consumable and decision-ready. Security leaders should invest time this year into understanding the data that their systems are providing and access tools that can help make that data valuable.

These resolutions will help organizations stay ahead of the curve in the year to come. Taking advantage of IoT allows security leaders to embrace the advantages of automation; coordinating on cybersecurity gives peace of mind while mitigating the risk of a data breach; and data analytics allows organizations to meet their goals and keep their people and property more secure with better decision making.

Aaron Upham, product specialist at System Surveyor, a graphical data collection and management tool that simplifies system design, installation and management.