SSI’s 2017 Physical-Cyber Security Survey

The survey gives insights into the state of cybersecurity in the physical security industry.

The following article originally ran in Campus Safety’s sister publication Security Sales & Integration.

Hard as it may be for some to believe in 2017, the electronic security profession is just about three years removed from all but those considered alarmists dismissing cybersecurity as having little relevance to industry practitioners.

Today, most people have come to terms with the sobering reality that cyber threats are a legitimate and constant threat to networked physical security products and solutions.

While awareness and in some cases remediation tactics have elevated, the vulnerability vectors continue to soar.

It’s the perfect storm: an insatiable lust by consumers and organizations for convenience and connectivity; an explosion of Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled products flooding the marketplace; and cyber-crime and hacking reaching epidemic proportions.

The majority of network breaches are due to human carelessness, with poor or compromised passwords being a prime example.

Results of SSI ‘s new Physical-Logical Security Assessment (PLSA) are promising in that regard, as 61 percent of responding integrators and dealers have implemented best cybersecurity practices within their organizations, which is more than double the percentage from 2014.

Those respondents also indicate they are more educated about IT/cybersecurity and eager to learn more. However, the third annual PLSA – conducted by EH Media Research in cooperation with leading industry groups and involving nearly 300 execs and managers from a range of company sizes throughout the United States and Canada – also brings to light several areas in need of serious attention and improvement.

Dealers/integrators are significantly more concerned about the potential impact of cybersecurity on customers and the overall threat to electronic security, and express higher certainty that the worst is yet to materialize.

There is also greater skepticism about the Cloud and especially home networks. Meanwhile, they are more worried than ever about product vulnerability and lack faith in manufacturers’ diligence.

Back to the optimistic side of the coin: More firms are seeing cyber as an opportunity and are also mulling expanding into offering related services. Overall, the electronic security community is on higher alert where it comes to cybersecurity than it was a year ago.

It’s as if in 2015, the industry realized, “Holy crap, what are we going to do?!” In 2016, it was, “OK, we’re getting a handle on this.” And now it is, “Wow, this is harder than we thought.” Hard, yes. Insurmountable? Heck no.

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