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Did you know that during 2022, businesses will have experienced an average of 130 cybersecurity attacks? Cybersecurity is an essential investment for any business looking to maintain GDPR compliance and the trust of its clients and stakeholders.

But, your physical security strategy is essential to your cybersecurity health

Want to find out why? Keep reading as we discuss the main methods of blending cyber and physical security, the critical role that open-source intelligence (OSINT) plays in facilitating the convergence of physical security and cybersecurity, and why a cyber-physical security approach is essential in the modern climate.

Why Is A Cyberphysical Security Strategy Important?

Cyberphysical security resolves many threats a business poses in the modern security climate. To help you understand why below are some of the reasons why companies can no longer perceive cyber and physical security as distinct elements:

  • Physical Cyber Sec 1Cyberphysical security threats - many cyberattacks don’t just threaten your digital security but also pose a risk to your physical security, and vice versa. To combat these hybrid attacks, you need coordinated cyber and physical security.
  • Digital assets stored in company buildings - your physical security strategy protects the digital assets held in your company’s physical locations, presenting the risk of a physical security breach exposing your data.
  • Cloud-based physical security data - many companies are choosing cloud-based security tools to save room on server storage and make their security more scalable. However, storing physical security data in the cloud presents the risk of exposure to a cyberattack.

For these reasons, cyber and physical security aren’t as separate as you think. Now, let’s discuss how you can incorporate physical security into your cybersecurity strategy to mitigate your vulnerability.

How To Blend Cyber And Physical Security For A Futureproof Strategy

Below is a list of security practices, tools, and technologies to help you blend cyber and physical security.

Leverage Open-Source Intelligence to Manage Risk

Open-source intelligence (OSINT), or the collection and analysis of data gathered from open sources to produce actionable intelligence, is critical in successfully converging and scaling cyber and physical security to close dangerous coverage gaps. Security teams are increasingly leveraging OSINT and cyber threat intelligence to provide critical information to physical security practitioners. OSINT can offer valuable insights into fake social media accounts misrepresenting or targeting executives or  employees, negative sentiment or protests that could delay travel plans, and planned attacks against physical assets. OSINT can also help identify vendors doing business with high-risk foreign nationals or nation-states. When executed properly, OSINT is not only a key enabler in today's risk management landscape, but also a key decision and collaboration tool for business stakeholders.

Lockdown Systems

Your company’s logins and systems need protection. If a user enters a password incorrectly too often, you can use both physical and cyber security protocols to contain the threat and mitigate your exposure.

You can connect your cyber and physical security to initiate a double lockdown. If an intruder or employee enters the wrong details, your cybersecurity protections will lock down their account or the login platform, preventing further attempts. And, to contain the individual, your door access keypad will lock all locks, allowing physical security teams to have the incident and perform an investigation.

This kind of dual response is sure to prevent the risk of an individual entering your digital system with someone else’s credentials - keeping your data secure.

Verifying On-Site Status

One of the best ways to keep your company data secure is to prevent users from accessing company resources offsite. To access your data, an employee or building user must enter the building through your access control system using their keycard or fob.

You can use open API integrations to ensure that your login system verifies that the user is logged in with your physical access control system before accessing the company’s login system. This way, only on-site employees can access your sensitive digital assets - lowering the risk of exposure.

Using Cybersecurity Policies In Your Physical Security Strategy

Physical Cyber Sec 2Regarding your physical security policy, you must ensure that all digital resources stored in your building are protected. A zero-trust physical security policy can help you to confirm your digital assets are secure.

Zero-trust is typically applied in a cybersecurity context. It prevents internal security breaches by giving each user role-based permissions. If their account becomes breached, the attack will expose only a limited amount of data.

The same goes for your physical security strategy. Can you trust every visitor, employee, or interviewee based on the merit that they can gain entry to your building?

You can protect your digital assets by applying role-based access credentials. Each building user gains the credentials they need to enter the building and perform daily operations - but nothing further.

You can protect server rooms and other areas housing sensitive digital assets by installing smart door locks. These door locks will only allow high-level employees with access permissions to enter the site.

Cybersecurity Protection For Physical Security Data

With the increased adoption of cloud-based security technology, there comes a need to secure this data from a cybersecurity standpoint.

Cloud-based physical security technologies present the following advantages for your security strategy:

  • Remote operation - you can remotely operate door locks and security cameras from anywhere using a mobile device or cloud-based control center.
  • Alerts and accessible data - your security team can receive mobile alerts based on detected security threats and view security data on their mobile device to investigate the threat before responding.
  • Integration - in a cloud-based security system, you can integrate different security tools to eliminate data silos and enhance the function of your security tools, improving ROI.

With the benefits of cloud-based security solutions comes the critical vulnerability of data exposure. If a third party were to infiltrate your system, they could access your security data and remotely operate your security tools. So, you need to implement cybersecurity software to keep your physical security data safe and secure from third parties.

Coordinating Cyber And Physical Security Teams

Since cyber and physical security are so connected, why would your cyber and physical security teams operate separately?

You can coordinate your cyber and physical security teams to take a cyber-physical approach to security. Since threats can concern both physical and cybersecurity simultaneously, both teams need to be aware of any hazards or risks. Coordinating both teams allows them to communicate and collaborate freely, eliminating interdepartmental data silos that could hinder security operations.

With both teams coordinated, they will have a clearer understanding of the security threats that fall under their domain. Your security strategy will not suffer due to misunderstanding which security incidents fall under each team’s jurisdiction.

An additional benefit of merging teams is that you may be able to decrease each team’s workload, presenting the opportunity to refine and downsize your security team. This would save tremendous costs you could allocate toward more essential security investments.

AI And Analytics

In merging cyber and physical security, you can implement AI and analytics to monitor your security data. Physical security professionals cannot consistently view and monitor security data for potential security threats. This means that should there be an incident picked up on your surveillance system, your team will likely miss it. 

With AI and analytics, you can implement video analytics software that notifies your team whenever an abnormality requires investigation. This way, you can expand the function of your security cameras, expanding their role to help your team prevent a security breach rather than simply record one.

Automated Workflows

You can invest in automated workflow software to make your physical and cyber incident response strategies more streamlined and efficient.

Automated workflow software can help your security team respond to physical and cyber threats in line with a merged cyber-physical security strategy. Once a security threat is detected, the system will create automated workflows based on your pre-established security response protocols. Without automated workflows, your security team would need to create and assign these workflows manually. 

Manually performing these processes can save time and ensure the success of your response procedures is maintained. Creating an automated system for these workflows can strengthen your response to cyber and physical security threats. Your cyber and physical team can respond to all security threats, ensuring no gaps in your strategy.

Summary

The security world is changing. No longer can we treat cyber and physical security as clearly distinct from one another. To futureproof your security strategy and fortify your business against the modern threat climate, you must consider how cyber and physical security are linked. Could cloud-based technologies, OSINT, and cyber-physical processes benefit your security health?