Making the case for traditional physical security in a digital world

It won’t exactly be news to anyone in the security sector that we live in an increasingly digital world. As such, the vast majority of headlines in recent years regarding the sector have tended to focus on the catastrophic cyber-attacks that have been the blight of corporations both major and minor. Even the NHS was hit by that infamous WannaCry hack back in 2018.

Given the potential scale and impact of cybercrime, it’s no wonder that this is where the focus has largely landed in recent years. Indeed, research has shown that data records are currently being stolen at a staggering rate (5 million every day and 68 every second), so it’s little wonder this is where the vast majority of security resources are being spent. However, to neglect the physical threats posed to your organisation would be a grave mistake.

Physical taking a backseat

A worrying trend is emerging amongst businesses globally where they are neglecting their physical security, but both should be given equal billing and should, in fact, go hand-in-hand with one another, particularly given the rise in connected, IoT security devices.

Traditionally, criminals would target physical locations, but as technology improved it became easier for organisations to detect and prevent these crimes. Technology also brought with it greater ease when it came to stealing data, which is arguably the most highly coveted commodity of all in today’s landscape.

A unified approach

Increasingly, businesses are choosing to utilise smart physical security devices that can be controlled and accessed remotely and are connected via the cloud. This is an approach that unifies physical and digital security and takes a holistic approach to the entire security solution.

Whilst this streamlined approach certainly has its benefits (most of them financial), it has opened up the door for cross-platform exploits that find the cracks between IT and physical security to attack a business on both fronts. This leaves physical security components (access panels, cameras and alarms) open to digital interference and hacking.

Indeed, with certain smart security setups, it might be possible for a hacker to gain access to your security camera feed and even create a profile for themselves on your access system, allowing them physical access to your organisation without the need to use force. This isn’t the stuff of Hollywood fiction, this is a legitimate concern for many major organisations across the globe using this technology.

Holding back

With the number of IoT devices set to reach over 75 billion by 2025, the convergence of physical and cybersecurity might seem like a done deal. However, if you represent an SME or startup then these systems can be incredibly expensive to set up. Not only that, but you’ll need to either train your existing team to use the new tech or hire a whole new team to control and monitor it properly.

That’s why, for the foreseeable future, more traditional physical security options will always be a more practical and secure option for the vast majority of businesses. The best thing about these systems is that they can also be upgraded in the future, with access controls and cameras that can operate on a closed circuit or can be opened up to work with smart solutions further down the line.

So, whilst the future of security might be in the cloud, the reality is that in the here and now, it’s too important for most organisations to take a gamble on technology that has yet to be proven 100% secure.