Now the IT guys are paying attention (is that a good thing?)

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09/24/2008
Cisco's increasing activity in the physical security space is, predictably, drawing the attention of traditional IT media. Sometimes, they have something interesting to offer on a story, sometimes they muddy the waters. With this story, I think they muddy the waters. The actual content of the IT World Canada story is mostly fine, it's the title that's dead wrong: New standard to unite physical and IT security Wowzer! That would be awesome! But they're just talking about the PSIA (see discussion below and details here) and their device discovery API. How does something that lets video cameras integrate with video management systems "unite physical and IT security"? It doesn't, and I suspect the author of the story knows that, since it's not mentioned in the story at all, and some editor just slapped on an incendiary headline. Oh well. That'll happen. Still, this is the kind of confusion that can be created when industries that have long been separate start to come together, and it's important to define terminology and nomenclature early. By my definition, IT security is making sure no one messes with your network - firewalls, passwords, content filtering, network access, etc. There's no way that Cisco's cameras easily integrating with Genetec's video management software is going to have anything to do with someone hacking your network and stealing your data (or, for that matter, making sure someone doesn't hack your network and look through your cameras). Also, by the way, even the PSIA will tell you that what they've got to offer is a specification, and not a standard. There's a difference. Jeez.