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FCW : December 2013
December 2013 FCW.COM 31 DrillDown Converging physical and cybersecurity President Barack Obama s Executive Order on Improving Critical Infrastruc- ture Cybersecurity and his Presidential Policy Directive on Critical Infrastruc- ture Security and Resilience are two of the rst of cial acknowledgments of the inextricable link between physical and cybersecurity. Those directives assert that to pro- tect critical infrastructure, federal departments and agency heads must lead the charge to strengthen cyberse- curity and increase collaboration and accountability among the infrastruc- ture s public and private stakeholders. The directives empower federal organizations to embrace holistic secu- rity measures to protect our nation s critical infrastructure, buildings, assets, information and people. In order to achieve a truly holistic approach, federal organizations must close the schism between physical and cyber- security divisions. The most effective course of action is to form a homogenized security pro- gram under the command and control of federal IT. Here s why: 1. The old dichotomy is outdated and cumbersome. Currently, network and information security falls under the purview of federal IT, and responsibil- ity for physical security resides with facility managers or superintendents. That structure is indicative of an anti- quated view of security. Ignoring security silos ignores the nature of modern threats and leaves gaping holes in security strategy. Instead, federal organizations must implement systemic mechanisms that enable security personnel to monitor, analyze and respond to threats occur- ring at any point of entry into the orga- nization, regardless of whether the threat or entry point is physical or virtual in nature. By combining access, management and reporting functions into a single- pane-of-glass system, attacks on one or more threat vectors would immediate- ly trigger a proactive response across all other areas of vulnerability. Such a uni ed threat management system for physical security would act like its data security counterpart in form and function and would allow human man- agement, oversight and deterministic response to evolve ahead of the threat. 2. Federal IT professionals already have the technical skills to secure physical assets. In many ways, "physi- cal security" is a misnomer because it ignores the sophisticated surveillance, access control, and visitor management tools and solutions organizations use to keep physical assets safe. From this perspective, federal IT is the logical choice to take control of a uni ed secu- rity program. Federal IT and cyberse- curity professionals already understand the theory, application and nuances of holistic security from their experience with cybersecurity. An industry expert makes the case for giving federal IT departments responsibility for all aspects of security BY VIC BERGER " " The federal security manager of the future will have knowledge of both physical and cybersecurity principles and practices, and will apply security solutions that hunt for uni ed threats.
November 30, 2013