CONVERGENCE OF LOGICAL AND PHYSICAL SECURITY SYSTEMS
Up to now, majority of organizations have their physical and logical access systems operating as independent structures, with each being run by a totally separate department. The information technology security system, which controls access to information technology infrastructure including mail servers, the internet, database applications and web servers was managed by the department of information technology. The physical security system, which incorporates door access into buildings, systems of life support such as CCTV and Fire, and the badging process of employees, was run by the department of facilities (Mehdizadeh, Y, ...view middle of the document...
The use of one data repository enables data that enters the system once to be reproduced throughout the entire organization. This enables common administration for users, credentials and privileges across both the physical and the IT fields; hence less effort and reduced possibilities of omissions or oversights when an employee leaves, is contracted or gets some change of access permission(Eugene, E.E, 2007, p.83).
Another advantage of this convergence is the reduction of cost. A combined security system abolishes the necessity of local security guards; rather, guards can monitor the security system throughout using a central location. From the same central location, burglar alarms are monitored, thus obviating the need for outside contracts made with other third parties (Slater, D, 2009). Video recording is also done on server disks rather than on digital video recorders, which are far much more expensive. Elimination of the guards and moving the systems used to monitor security and burglary in-house saves a lot of money (Slater, D, 2009).
The system’s audit trail is yet another important benefit of the convergence. This audit trail can be greatly helpful in forensic investigations. For instance, in a security event, a detailed security log shows the computer that was used, the password and username, and the person who had access to the building. Moreover, a centralized data repository is helpful for real time systems monitoring (Mehdizadeh, Y, 2003).
Another benefit of this consolidation is the development of the corporate badge, which is a form of common identity used in corporate mergers. This badge provides “global roaming” in which one card enables access to all facilities worldwide in accordance to the granted authorization (Mehdizadeh, Y, 2003).
The convergence also gives the organization a much more versatile staff. This is because the system enables cross-training of the agents in an organization, thus making them aware of fields that were not in their job categories before. Employees who are assigned to certain projects become cross-trained while doing the job. This improves security and response time and enables the staff to cover each other, lowering staffing costs and giving the team members higher career opportunities (Slater, D, 2009).
The convergence of IT and physical security systems also comes with disadvantages. One such disadvantage is that the security system requires knowledge which is beyond the domain of security. Most of the elements necessary for integration of logical security systems have complex setup and configuration steps which have to be carried out by a knowledgeable individual. Security departments must therefore rely on IT departments for assistance with several security project aspects. However, there exists a big communication gap since the personnel of each of the departments lacks knowledge of the other department’s domain. Solving this problem is difficult due to existence of the fear of...