Physical and cyber security can seem like two separate fields, but in actuality there are many ways the two overlap. This convergence means there can be great value in combining them both into a single, central GSOC.
Forward-thinking organizations are blending physical and cyber security operations. Though these security professionals come from different backgrounds, their distinct skills in conjunction with overlapping experience provide fruitful opportunities for collaboration.
Similarities between physical and cyber security
While some of the day to day activities of physical and cyber security can look quite different, at their core the two disciplines share a common intellectual language: risk management.
Despite the differences in applications, these two branches of security have the same principles. Monitoring, alert, and response– the core activities of a security operations center — are familiar to both cyber and physical security professionals.
There are many ways in which physical and cyber security intersect that suggest combining forces could be effective for your organization.
For example, some physical systems for security protection, such as CCTV cameras and access control systems, are run over enterprise networks that must be protected. If a breach occurs in the network, then a physical foothold could also be gained.
Similarly, physical security can help monitor potential threats to the health of an organization’s IT system. As an example, if employees were to receive USB drives loaded with malware, physical security operations can work in tandem with the cyber team to determine the source.
Collaboration among departments is also common on insider threat committees, where physical security, cyber security, human resources, finance, and legal departments join forces to prevent critical events caused by inside actors.
Benefits of converging security
Bringing sources of intelligence into a single location where people with different but complementary disciplines collaborate is a great opportunity to make the best use of gathered data. The physical infrastructure of a security operations center is a big investment, and it makes sense to make the most of it.
The collaboration in a converged SOC will also result in a more timely, effective response. Converging physical and cyber security operations is not about forming a single blended unit, but bringing together professionals who use similar methods to aid each other.
Additionally, some executive boards are still unfamiliar with the terminology used in cyber security, but have experience talking about physical security. When talking about cyber risks with decision makers, physical security colleagues can help to “translate” some of the cyber aspects into risk management terms leadership may be more familiar with. This can help make some of those crucial decisions easier for all involved.
Each side, both physical and cyber, has something tangible to bring to the table for security discussions. When they combine forces, they can ensure that both sides are heard and understood.
Constant’s Security Operations Center Solutions
If you plan to create a converged operations center, the right partner is key. The creation of any 24/7 operations center requires a delicate balancing act. A GSOC that combines two types of security requires even more balance. Selecting the right partner ensures that your finished space will complement your goals.
The physical space of your combined security operations center is critical in facilitating collaboration. The design team at Constant Technologies is the best in the industry. With design engineers who hold certifications from the American Institute of Architects and accreditation as Certified Technology Specialists in Design, our team covers multiple facets of operations center design, from spatial planning to mapping out the AV integration. With a floor plan and some basic requirements to start with, our designers will work with you to refine the design until it fits all your needs.
A key part of the design is optimal placement of your video wall and consoles.
One of the main ways operators share intelligence is through the video wall for the operations center. Real-time data displayed on a large video wall allows operators within the space to share information efficiently. With one wall that manages and displays various sources, data can quickly be aggregated, analyzed, and shared so that vital decisions can be made. Additionally, if the facility features adjacent conference rooms or huddle spaces, the display technology in those spaces can be linked with the main video wall for collaboration in the event of an incident. Custom AV integration ensures that your operations center technology is optimized for collaboration between your mission critical teams.
The placement of operations center furniture also plays a role in the effectiveness of your combined operations center. The video wall and consoles should be installed in such a way that operators can easily see the information displayed. Ideally, operators should not have to crane their necks or move into uncomfortable positions to view the video wall.
Constant’s design engineers conduct sight line analysis when designing the layout of your command center to ensure that every operator in your space has as clear and comfortable a view as possible. Based on the nearest distant viewer, the farthest distant viewer, and what will be displayed on the video wall, a sight line analysis determines optimal video wall and operator placement. By analyzing line of sight for each position, we minimize any distracting or uncomfortable positioning so that operators can conduct their work comfortably and efficiently.
The arrangement of furniture within your converged security operations center can also be used to encourage collaboration between physical and cyber security professionals. Command consoles arranged in open pods can promote collaboration, integration, and streamlined communication among operators. The inclusion of huddle spaces and adjacent conference rooms is another option to promote operators working together within a command center space.
Programming, installing, and servicing your converged operations center
No matter how complex the display wall system is, operating it can be made simple with the use of a user-friendly control system. Custom programming is an essential component of all Constant’s mission critical installations. Each project features custom AV integration where a variety of equipment from different manufacturers is brought together to form a single solution. Constant’s programming department is integral in making these disparate components work together. We program various elements of your command center technology so that the behavior of the device matches what the users need in the room.
The installation process for your operations center is also vital. All the planning in the world would be useless if it wasn’t implemented correctly. That’s why we use a highly trained and experienced in-house installation team to bring your project to life. From the complex cabling in AV racks to furniture assembly and equipment management, our install team knows every aspect of mission critical installation.
Constant’s expertise and guidance for your operations center doesn’t just end there, however. We also provide service and support. In fact, we’re so dedicated to keeping our clients happy and operating at optimal levels that we created a Support Operations Center within our global headquarters to more effectively monitor service requests.
With Constant Technologies, the complex needs of your converged operations center will be in good hands, all the way from concept through completion — and beyond.
If you’re ready to start planning out your converged security operations center, contact us today for a free design and budget consultation.
Constant Technologies, Inc. provides AV integration for 24/7 video walls and custom operation center furniture. With 30+ years of experience, we can work with sensitive environments in the public and private sectors. Constant designs and installs projects of all scopes and sizes around the world. We also offer long-term service and support. We create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.
Updated November 2, 2022