Convergence: It’s More Than a Buzzword

Convergence: It’s More Than a Buzzword

By now, you’re probably more than familiar with the term “convergence” and what it means for the security industry. The evolution of the threat landscape and significance of risks that today’s mission-critical organizations face have made the word top-of-mind, as businesses around the world demand a more holistic approach to security to ensure they’re consistently protecting what matters most.

But while the traditional definition of convergence may seem simple to understand (merging physical and enterprise security management and reporting relationships), we must look beyond these words to determine how exactly the practice can and should be implemented. In a more detailed sense, convergence can be defined as a marrying of cyber and physical capabilities to form a comprehensive approach to identify potential threats and expand situational awareness for better event response.

Defining Cyber

In the convergence equation, the physical side of security is typically universally understood; we’ve long been familiar with systems such as video surveillance and access control. But when you add in cyber, it’s important to take into consideration that the word can mean different things to different people. Whether you think of malware, ransomware, the dark web, phishing, etc., it’s critical to consider all sides of the term and fully recognize the risks that each of these threats poses to an organization’s IT infrastructure.

The Power of Web Intelligence

The intersection between physical and cyber elements exists in the potential of web-based vulnerabilities and threats to affect and possibly damage an organization’s structure, the people within or the public at large. Mitigating this risk begins with expanding today’s boundaries that define where security threats are both generated and defended. Yoav Sigalovich, Major General (ret.), the former head of the Israel Police Investigations Division, once said: “The blind spots of law enforcement today are the domains of criminal activity of which we are unaware.”

Social media is a powerful tool and one that can help bring that awareness to the forefront. One of the most important aspects of convergence is the ability to establish a proactive strategy. Social media monitoring plays a crucial role in helping to develop early warning intelligence and increasing insight into an incident or threat before it takes place.

Operators can leverage geo-fenced surveillance to increase geo-based social media awareness, defining a location and monitoring keyword searches, live events, and specific patterns. Through this deep dive to uncover new data, organizations gain the ability to build live tracking and generate alerts on emerging events, creating actionable intelligence that can be analyzed in advance to ensure risks are alleviated. More importantly, seemingly unrelated data or persons can be contextualized and associated in ways that were previously unknown.

The Whole Is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

Social media monitoring ultimately feeds the larger physical security engines through automating the collection and analysis of content from open sources. Once threatening posts are identified, organizations can incorporate this information into tools such as video surveillance, facial recognition, and dispatch and response technologies to create a physical security posture that is resilient and prepared.

This level of collaboration fuels a unified and cohesive security strategy that is built with all areas of security in mind and can lead to better incident management and faster response. Today’s multi-layered and sophisticated security threats can impact an organization’s people, property, and brand, requiring a coordinated, holistic, and unified defense and offense.

For end users to achieve this goal, they must partner with a company that has experience, a broad portfolio, open architecture, cyber and physical expertise, and a commitment to customer success. Learn more about how Verint meets these criteria.

Jeffrey Lewis

Author: Jeffrey Lewis

Jeffrey is a seasoned marketing leader with a long history in the positioning and marketing of security services on a global scale. Previously held global marketing and marketing roles at Cognizant Security, GE Digital, HP Enterprise Security Services and TXU Energy.