Honeywell Survey Shows Security Convergence Popular but Elusive
Organizations moving to physical-IT convergence despite implementation barriers
A survey by Honeywell released Wednesday reveals that although some organizations are integrating physical security measures such as video surveillance and access control with traditional IT security system, significant barriers to convergence still exist.
Furthermore, Enterprise Threat Management and Security Convergence: A Benchmarking Study reports that many of these organizations remain unsure about how best to get the best results.
Over 50 chief information officers, chief security officers, and chief information and security officers of U.S.-based global companies participated in the study. Their companies had revenues of $1 billion to over $100 billion. Most indicated increased interaction between their security and IT functions: nearly two-thirds (63 percent) said their security and IT organizations “had a formal coordination mechanism,” with 10 percent reporting that the two functions are run as a single entity.
Nearly three in four respondents (almost 73 percent) believe vulnerabilities in either physical or IT security can lead to a breach in the other system, which could explain why 91 percent of companies reported an increase in their organization’s security investment (three-fourths of which exceeded 8 percent over the previous year).
Who is responsible for organizing responses to a coordinated physical-IT security attack? One-third (34 percent) said there isn’t a single internal contact, 27 percent said it was the director of security, 14 percent identified a single chief security officer, and 14 percent said it was their crisis management group.
Even the definition of convergence wasn’t uniform among respondents; answers varied from using IT backbones for security systems to automating manual processes through an IT system. One third (33 percent) said they believe convergence will occur within the next two to five years, but another 33 percent said convergence will never happen. Respondents cited several barriers, including turf control, complexity and skills needed to handle multiple disciplines, budget conflicts, compatibility across groups, lack of technical platforms, and expanding privacy laws
Honeywell said its study has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent.
More information about the report is available at http://www.honeywellintegrated.com.
James E. Powell is the former editorial director of Enterprise Strategies (esj.com).