IT convergence with security helps manage robust cybersecurity strategies
An increasingly digital world demands that the industry continuously adapts its security strategies to navigate and respond to the evolving threat landscape.
In the latest state of physical security report 2022, 54% of end-user respondents indicated that their organization’s target vision for security deployment is a blend of on-premises and cloud-based solutions. A hybrid approach enables organizations to optimize their existing on-premises investments while leveraging cloud options to save cost, increase security and efficiency, and enable remote access to systems and sensors.
In an interview with Firas Jadalla, Regional Director, Middle East, and Africa at Genetec, a software, hardware, and cloud-based services company, Economy Middle East expanded on this and asked:
1- Can you share an in-depth insight into the latest State of Physical Security Report?
The State of Physical Security Report 2022 is our third annual report and includes the largest-ever respondent base. This year, we received insights from over 3,700 physical security leaders worldwide, including end users and systems integrators, installers, and providers. Based on these insights, Genetec has identified four key trends, including a growing focus on integrating cybersecurity and a hybrid cloud approach into physical security to effectively navigate the realities of a changing landscape.
The convergence of information technology (IT) and security is inspiring novel approaches to implementing and managing a robust cybersecurity strategy. In fact, 64% of IT and 54% of security respondents indicated that cybersecurity tools are a top priority this year. Moreover, when asked about the challenges faced when managing employee and visitor safety, more than half of the organizations selected cybersecurity as their primary challenge. This was particularly evident for organizations with over 100,000 employees, with 62.3% of them indicating that cybersecurity was their top challenge, compared to 52.1% for companies with under 100,000 employees.
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Meanwhile, 54% of end-user respondents indicated that their organization’s target vision for security deployment is a blend of on-premises and cloud-based solutions. This approach enables organizations to optimize their existing on-premises investments while leveraging cloud options to save cost, increase security and efficiency, and enable remote access to systems and sensors.
The survey also showed that almost two-thirds (63%) of all respondents and 7 in every 10 organizations with over 10,000 employees described physical security and related data as “mission-critical.” The use of physical security has become a strategic asset to cope with a variety of challenges that go beyond just mitigating risk and is now playing a much more significant role in organizations’ digital transformation. Every organization wants to get its hands on the latest technology. However, faced with budget constraints, talent shortages, and ever-changing priorities, security leaders must do more with less.
2- Please cite some growth, challenges, and physical security demands in the Middle East market
In the same report on the State of Physical Security Report, 50% of respondents said their physical security team experienced human resource challenges last year. For 2023, security leaders are re-evaluating their technology stack seeking solutions that help streamline activities, automate processes, and enhance team efficiency. This is expected to drive demand for unified security solutions. By unifying video surveillance, access control, automatic license plate recognition, communications technology, and other valuable functions, security teams can make an operator’s job easier and reduce costs and training. Moreover, built-in analytics or decision support features can further streamline operations.
3- Can you highlight solutions and innovations that are expected to have a big impact on physical security in 2023?
According to the physical security trends and predictions report, 67% of organizations plan to invest in access control system (ACS) modernization in 2023, putting it at the top of the physical security tech investment list. By upgrading to a modern, open ACS, organizations can eliminate the weak points of legacy systems and better defend against cybersecurity threats, as well as enable new capabilities like mobile credentials, biometrics, and cloud-connected controllers and services, to implement over time.
We also believe unification within physical security will play a crucial role in 2023 as it allows organizations to modernize their legacy systems while leveraging their existing infrastructure and enhancing their cyber defenses. Moreover, they can do this without expensive and complex custom development.
4- Can you expand on Physical Security Trends that are happening in the industry for this year 2023?
Improving cybersecurity continues to be a top concern for organizations, particularly in the Middle East. Research shows that 36% of IT and security professionals are looking to invest in cybersecurity-related tools to improve physical security in 2023. While a more holistic, automated approach to defending against threats will take precedence, so will proactive security architecture planning and procurement. These measures may include replacing legacy equipment before succumbing to end-point failures to mitigate risks better; while using intelligent maintenance tracking tools and metrics to improve forecasting.
Another component would be relying on external expertise to adapt security architecture planning as supply chain lags and standardizing on solutions built with cybersecurity and privacy in mind to enhance resilience across the partner ecosystem. This take-charge mindset will help organizations better defend against cyberattacks and become an essential factor in preserving business resilience and continuity.
Other notable trends Genetec anticipates impacting the industry in 2023 are the extraction of physical security data pushing digital transformation forward, growing collaboration and convergence of IT and physical security teams, and the continuation of remote work driving increased need for space utilization data.
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