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Should Security Teams Own Physical Security Intelligence?

8 minute read

Physical security teams are at a disadvantage without implementing threat intelligence. Even with state-of-the-art technologies, observation, and proactive measures, significant threats may be missed. Threat assessment and situational awareness can be enhanced through physical security intelligence. Leverage your diligence with physical security solutions.

The Escalating Challenge of Physical Threats

Physical threats are becoming alarmingly frequent and interconnected. Events like tropical storms causing power outages, blizzards stranding drivers, and nearby protests unsettling office workers exemplify the diverse range of challenges faced today. According to recent OnSolve research, damage from weather and climate disasters rose by nearly 10%, costing organizations billions. With up to 10 physical threats occurring every minute, the importance of a comprehensive approach to security becomes evident.

What Is Physical Security Intelligence?

Physical security intelligence is the process of integrating digital monitoring using powerful AI-driven tools into your physical security system. Physical security intelligence can detect and alert your security teams to the digital footprint of threats that appear on the web or in your organization’s physical area. It can also relate real-time events to your security team to allow for security bolstering and added protection. 

Your organization’s physical assets are at risk, but constant monitoring of the surface, the deep, and the dark web can allow you to stay ahead of threat agent’s plans and information.

Sources Of Physical Security Intelligence

Your physical security intelligence system can draw data from your existing physical security systems and your integrated digital sources to provide a complete picture of your organization’s physical security. You can integrate sources such as:

  • Surveillance systems
  • Access control logs
  • Incident reports
  • Threat assessments
  • External intelligence providers.

Feeding the data collected from these sources into an AI-driven intelligence system will allow you to quickly identify outliers that could represent a threat to your organization. It will also allow you to discern where your structures or sensitive information is most at risk through digital channels.

Why Security Teams Should Own Their Physical Security Intelligence

Many physical attacks have a digital footprint. Choosing to ignore the digital trail risks compromising your physical assets and can slow down initiating an appropriate response to real-world threats.

In the last decade, the transition to networked physical security systems has seen IT departments assuming greater responsibility. This shift emphasizes the growing intersection of cybersecurity and physical security. The Genetec report highlights that cyber concerns are influencing new methods to bolster security strategies. Now, more than ever, there’s a critical need for a unified approach to handle threats that bridge the digital and physical realms.

Owning your own physical security intelligence allows you to keep up with threat agents’ advancing techniques and allows you to formulate a response system that keeps up with modern attacks. Consider the following benefits your organization can expect by owning and adapting a physical security intelligence system, and understand the factors that may influence your decision:

Real-Time Monitoring

Real-time monitoring enhances situational awareness and enables swift action to prevent or mitigate security incidents by continuous monitoring of physical spaces, through surveillance cameras, sensors, and access control systems.

Your physical security team will have relevant information and evidence to avoid confusion in initiating a response to a potential or active threat.

Efficient Incident Response

A unified approach to security allows security teams to respond rapidly and effectively to incidents that involve both digital and physical components. Efficient incident response is imperative to protecting your organization, regardless of where the identified threat originated from.

Streamlined Collaboration

When security teams own physical security intelligence, they can collaborate more effectively with other departments, such as facilities management, IT, and legal teams.

This cuts down on confusing or misleading response processes and allows important security details to be funneled to the departments that can build a complete response to the physical threat.

Tailored Risk Assessment

Security teams can analyze both digital and physical threat data to understand the organization’s unique risk profile. This tailored risk assessment process allows security teams to prioritize threat vectors with the highest risk to an organization’s assets. 

Security Intelligence

Security intelligence is the benchmark of a security-first organization. Protecting your organization and clients is necessary to effectively provide reliable service. Many organizations choose to include threat feeds, incidence data, and vulnerability databases in their organization’s security intelligence to manage potential threats.

Cybersecurity threat intelligence crawls through the enormous amounts of raw data that fill the web and determines how your organization is being threatened. From a simple email phishing scam to an entire brand website takeover, cybersecurity threat intelligence is how you protect your digital assets.

Digital And Physical Security

For companies seeking a holistic approach to security, many choose to use SIEM systems or other intelligence services such as the effective ZeroFox AI-driven managed intelligence. When you own your own physical security intelligence system, you can manage your entire security system through one effective team and process, which gives your security team the upper hand.

Other Alternatives

While owning your own physical security intelligence is the gold standard in a tailored, efficient security network, alternatives exist. You can choose to outsource security services to specialized firms or collaborate with management teams. You may also choose to establish a dedicated physical security intelligence team that can observe threats and respond without the assistance of an intelligence system, though this may cause interruptions or delays in your response processes.

How To Integrate Physical Security Intelligence Into Your Team

Because of the complex nature of security intelligence, integrating a physical security intelligence into your existing security teams is a complicated procedure. After deciding that the benefits are not worth putting off the effort, be prepared to work your way through the following processes for complete security intelligence integration:

Understand Risks And Threats

Conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify potential threats to physical assets, personnel, and facilities. Use your existing software and your security team’s experience to prioritize your efforts. 

Cross-Functional Collaboration

Integration of physical security intelligence requires active cooperation between security teams, IT departments, facilities management, legal teams, and other relevant stakeholders to ensure they’re aligned and coordinated.

Data Analysis And Threat Assessment

Security teams may use relevant data to assess potential threats and vulnerabilities by identifying patterns, trends, and anomalies to proactively mitigate security risks. Being aware of your attack surface is key to creating a customized threat intelligence system that works.

Security Information And Event Management (Siem) System

SIEM systems help automate threat detection, streamline incident response, and provide a centralized platform for managing security information. These systems are comprehensive, so adding additional intelligence requires vetted effort.

Incident Response Planning

Security teams need to develop structured procedures for addressing security breaches, including roles, responsibilities, escalation paths, and communication strategies. An effective incident response allows teams to prevent excessive organizational damage, as every second counts.

Training And Skill Development

Security teams need to develop the skills to interpret and respond to both digital and physical security threats by analyzing intelligence data, collaborating across functions, and making informed decisions during security incidents.

This can include scheduled drills to ensure the proper functioning of systems and alert security teams of additional training that could benefit response teams across the involved departments.

Continuously Review And Adjust

Periodically review and adjust security measures based on evolving threats, changing technologies, and organizational developments. Prepare your response for both the most likely attack vectors and monitor other potential threats to stay in step with emerging technologies and security threats.

How Organizations Can Best Leverage Security Intelligence

Security intelligence promotes a complete and effective guard around every tier of your organization, which helps mitigate the risks that are particular to those vectors. Leverage your security intelligence through:

Executive Protection

Key executives and high-profile individuals within an organization can become targets of advanced phishing techniques such as whaling attacks. Executives could also be threatened through physical processes, or become victims of theft if their assets and knowledge are not fully protected through digital means. 

Specialized executive protection tailors tools and alerts to these advanced threats. This specialized protection addresses common attacks launched against executive assets, such as social media impersonations, disrupting physical events or global threats, and monitoring for sensitive information that could be misused.

Threat Attacks

Ideally, attack prevention should be the first layer of defense against digital or physical threats. Managed intelligence services allow security teams to use real-time monitoring and data analysis to identify patterns that indicate that an attack is being planned. Once the impending attack has been identified, security teams can take steps to prevent it or mitigate the damage, keeping organizational activities running.

Crisis Response

When a crisis arises, informed decision-making can be the difference between surviving or spiraling out of control. Security intelligence constantly monitors every part of the web for information that is relevant and compiles the data into useful and often critical updates. Organizations can use this information to allocate resources efficiently during a crisis and create an incident response that protects the organization’s key assets.

Brand Protection

Threat intelligence using brand protection can monitor digital channels and social media platforms to identify potential threats and address issues promptly. If an attack has been instigated against your organization, a quick response can help maintain a positive public image and prevent damage to digital systems, keeping your organization running smoothly.

Secure Your Future With ZeroFox’s Security Intelligence

ZeroFox offers a variety of intelligence solutions to create a proactive and effective cybersecurity system that works for your organization’s needs. Including physical security intelligence promotes a holistic approach to your security system. Keep your entire organization protected, and stay ahead of potential threats. Learn more about ZeroFox‘s wide array of proven solutions for all your cybersecurity needs and physical security intelligence. Schedule a demo today.

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