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A tech writer specialising in cybersecurity, working with Redscan on this and a number of other GDPR, MDR, and ethical hacking projects.
December 20, 2022


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Converged security

Why unified security is vital for business success

Crime, whether physical or digital, costs businesses huge amounts of money. Companies of all sizes are at risk, and having a unified strategy in place that offers cyber security and physical protection is becoming increasingly important. Dakota Murphey explains the benefits such an approach brings and provides examples of aspects that can be implemented.  

Cyber security and physical security are from different eras, and physical security has been in place for businesses for far longer than digital security. And while critical events are increasingly severe, they threaten the safety of both staff and the general public, digital infrastructure and assets such as equipment, inventory and buildings. As the complexity of digital threats grows, it’s time that decision makers make the necessary changes to unify their protective strategies for better results.

Merging security fields across business operations

Merging security operations across sites and internally is particularly important for businesses that have cloud-based services and IoT technologies. It is also key for enterprises that offer flexible-working patterns and for start-ups implementing new security measures.


When it comes to security vulnerabilities, it is not just the scale and threats that are growing but the sophistication to target every element of your business operations and on a more regular basis with greater sophistication.

Recognising when the security stakes are raised and the potential financial damage that can be inflicted on your business is also why you need to implement a connected security system. This should span physical sites and buildings as well as any virtual zones. In turn, your unified approach ought to be coupled with a smart workplace culture that complements security measures to detect attacks and tighten defences.

Using physical premises to access digital devices

Physical assets are home to many digital assets, which hold sensitive data and confidential documents. If an unauthorised person gains access to your commercial property, there is the risk that they’ll also gain access to digital property, putting your entire business at risk and making your clients and third parties vulnerable too.

Protecting your commercial property is one of the most crucial ways to ensure that those who have access to your technology are authorised to do so. Mobile credentials and passwords can be used to develop stronger access control, receiving a mobile key each time they require access rather than relying on a physical key which can easily be lost or stolen.

Likewise, with the increased adoption of cloud technology and IoT devices in businesses, leaders need to restructure to ensure that all processes and operations are taken into account to handle modern security threats.

Physical security staff and IT professionals may have difficulty understanding which assets fall under their responsibility, but merging the two fields improves collaboration, communication and develops a stronger and more resilient strategy.

A zero-trust system

Zero-trust strategies assume zero trustworthiness for any individual, both visitors and customers as well as employees. This approach can be applied to digital and physical assets, significantly reducing the risk of a security breach.

For example, access controls on doors, both external and internal, can ensure that permissions to each area are strictly controlled, and that any area containing sensitive data can be secured and only granted access to certain individuals. Similarly, online devices can be controlled using passwords so that users only have permission to access the data they need to do their job.

Axis-FrictionlessAccessControl-20Zero-trust strategies are even more important in businesses that have customers and clients entering the building regularly, or who use contractors. Being able to manage permissions is essential to protecting a breach, whether intentional or unintentional.

A competitive advantage

Blending security functions for physical and digital assets doesn’t just protect you against a breach or unauthorised access, but it can actually improve efficiency. It helps to contribute towards your business’ wider goals and targets, and if you have a security strategy that’s well functioning and efficient, you have an environment that’s better placed for your operations and processes to thrive.

It strengthens your reputation as a business, instils trust in your staff and your customers and third-party agencies, and it ensures a safer environment for everyone to work in. It can help to bolster your business in the eyes of others, and that can serve as great leverage when it comes to gaining a competitive edge in your market or industry. Ultimately, better security means a stronger and safer business, and that reduces incidents and allows for more time to be spent on growing your company rather than putting out fires.

Effective onboarding and off-boarding

As any business grows its team, new staff will be brought in and they’ll need access to physical and digital assets to be able to do their job effectively, whether it’s accessing certain rooms in the building, logging onto a computer or using software. When they leave, these access rights need to be managed to prevent other individuals from being able to access them too, should that ex-employee hand them over.

A unified security strategy forms part of the onboarding and offboarding processes, preventing these types of repercussions and keeping your business safe. Weak processes can have devastating consequences in the future, from having an ex-staffer leave with company assets to an existing employee handing out their password to get a new hire working quicker.

Converged security systems prevent this from happening, ensuring a streamlined process and greater efficiency for new and old employees, so fewer problems arise.

Less confusion among staff

There isn’t always a clear distinction between whether an incident is physical or cyber security, and who is responsible for handling the consequences. A contractor, for example, may have access to a computer and print out a confidential document. If they then take that home and share the printout with others, who handles such an emergency?

To achieve the best protection both online and across security businesses, the answer is that both IT professionals and physical security teams need to be involved and well-trained. So, it makes business sense for these two areas to work together on a clear and unified strategy, without confusion or time-wasting spent working out who handles what.

Businesses face so many complex challenges when it comes to overseeing physical and digital infrastructure, but with so many threats to how companies operate today, it’s essential that both physical and cyber security are prioritised equally. A unified strategy that combines physical and digital strengths is the key to future proofing a business against the constantly evolving threats.


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