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Top 5 Things to Look for in a Physical Security Intelligence Solution

Top 5 Things to Look for in a Physical Security Intelligence Solution
7 minute read

It's no longer just cyberspace or physical space; they intertwine daily, and it’s not just the physical world that impacts the digital. Threats arising online can materialize in physical form, taking the shape of attacks on power stations, riots, mass shootings, ,weather-related disasters, and more. According to OSHA, the third leading cause of workplace injuries is acts of violence.

Because  many of these threats can originate online, it falls into the realm of cybersecurity defenders to help identify physical security threats and mitigate their impacts. Extremist chatter on Tor could result in damage to municipal utilities, and vacation pictures posted by an executive could lead to disgruntled investors showing up at their hotel. 

ZeroFox is one of the only organizations with robust intelligence capabilities that extend beyond traditional security perimeters –because threats do. As cyberspace and real-world threats mingle, security practitioners will find their digital prowess more critical than ever to reinforce their physical security posture. All it takes is the right tools.

Here’s what to look for when considering a physical security intelligence (PSI) solution.

Rapid Detection of Critical Events and Incidents

There are a few things to keep in mind when tracking physical security risks: you need to have comprehensive visibility of both the digital and physical threat landscapes to understand what’s happening and act swiftly. This is a tall order but, the right PSI solution will accomplish this. You need monitoring across a variety of digital sources, including the dark web, the surface web, the deep web, social media platforms, live streams, news, professional platforms, and more. The more comprehensive your data is, the better your chance of identifying threats before they can impact your facilities, offices, people, and business operations. The underground rumblings are out there; if they're not on one platform, they’re on another. An extensive breadth of data sources is critical. 

Next, when something breaks, you need to know it now. These incidents don't sit on a server and wait to make their move; they happen. So, when a downtown riot starts smashing windows in Singapore, you need to warn your APAC office in time. When your CEO travels to Bangkok, you need a live-streamed data source that can monitor for physical threats in their locale, in local time (and in your time). From typhoons to lockdowns to arson, a good PSI solution will give you rapid detection of critical events and incidents. 

Lastly, you need to know what’s going on always. Threats don’t sleep when you do–in fact, that’s often when you should be on guard the most. You need a physical security intelligence solution that provides comprehensive (24/7/365) physical security monitoring.

Geographical Location Monitoring

Look for a PSI solution that can give you precise location monitoring. You don’t want to worry your boss about a threat emerging from  afar but you also don’t want to miss something immediate because your range isn’t close enough. This is what advanced cybersecurity tooling is for – to keep organizations and their assets (human or digital) safe. To do that, geographical accuracy is needed.

You need to monitor exact locations critical to your organization, including the areas around key employees, major events and tradeshows, and specific locations (like offices, hotels, vendor locations, and even places of residence). Crime doesn't stop at the office door, and neither can physical threat detection.

Even on weekends and when executives are away–especially at those times–situational awareness needs to be amped up around airports, travel destinations, and any locations of interest your employees or assets will be present. This is also a major selling point for companies hoping to attract the best executive talent. Competition can be fierce, but when an executive knows they and their family have the protection of a comprehensive PSI solution wherever they go, a lot of worries are relieved.

Launching at the end of this month, our new global mapping feature enhances this situational awareness, enabling security teams to easily view incidents on a world map. By pinpointing exactly where incidents are happening in proximity to their critical assets, organizations can respond more swiftly and effectively. This addition to our PSI solution provides not only advanced monitoring but also a visual representation of potential threats, reinforcing security measures and allowing for immediate action if necessary.

Intelligence-Driven Data

The first steps involve gathering data, and a lot of it–from disparate sources, early and often. However, lest you end up with a useless data dump, the next step (and this is critical) is how it’s organized.

The right physical security intelligence solution will include specialized PSI analysts trained to vet, research, and enrich the data so it’s usable, actionable, and concise. If done manually, this requires a lot of cycles and may not be something every organization’s security team is prepared to handle.It not only takes man hours, but also specialized know-how in corroborating and validating the data.It can’t be just anybody—part of the value-add of a PSI solution is the human experts behind it and the unique benefits they contribute to your strategy.

Immediate and Actionable Alerts

When the data has been analyzed and the physical threats deduced, your team needs a way to take action on them. The fastest way to do this is near real-time alerts.  . But any SOC knows that if left unchecked, alerts can create too much noise for security teams to sift through. . Too many notifications are about as helpful  as not having any.

A PSI solution needs to solve for this problem. Alert policies need to be in place;  rules need to be set for  every (relevant) alert;  and multiple levels of filtering need to be available  to ensure only relevant alerts are issued.

Also, the alerts need to go where the team is, not vice versa.  Actionable information that’s difficult to find is just as useless as not having alerts available to the whole team. They need to be conveniently accessible  in email, Slack channels, and even via text. An ideal  PSI solution  will  be flexible and customizable to the security team’s communication needs.

Lastly, just like the quality of physical intelligence, alerts need to be delivered as close to real-time as possible. Rapid, high-fidelity alerts are a must-have  for a trusted PSI solution.

Global Coverage

If you’re going to be covered anywhere, you need to be covered everywhere. Threats happen all over the world, and what starts in Malaysia, Canada, or the U.K. could end up affecting a nuclear facility, a retail store's server room, or an executive's travel plans anywhere. The good thing about the modern digital age is that everything is now extremely connected. The bad thing about the modern digital age is that everything is now extremely connected. 

It cuts both ways, and companies can’t afford to have geo-centric thinking. If your network tools are trained to catch threats anywhere, your physical security intelligence solution should be too. What starts “there” could end up “here” quicker than you know it. Consolidated visibility and gapless coverage are essential for a globally-tempered PSI solution.

Additionally, an ideal PSI solution should provide support in as many languages as possible (more than  100). The more cyberspace connects us, the more you’ll need alerts that can effectively notify as many people on your team as needed, without the halting inefficiency of a language barrier.

ZeroFox PSI

According to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, organizations with converged cybersecurity and physical security functions are more resilient and better prepared to identify, prevent, mitigate, and respond to threats.

It all starts with the right mindset and then the right solution. Finding a PSI solution that will go the distance is a matter of serious consideration. These threats are only ramping up in size, scope, and potential, so it's crucial to partner with a company that knows the ropes.

As the only unified platform for external cybersecurity, ZeroFox is ready to take on the next generation of threats and has been ready for a while now. With decades of combined experience in deep and dark web tactics, we know how to navigate the digital underground, take down sensitive content, and track down cyber-rumblings that lead to real-world dangers. We don’t hide in the shadows – we take the fight to them.

Sign up for demo of our Enhanced Physical Security Intelligence solution and learn more here.

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