SYNNEX: IT Service Providers Eyeing Physical Security Market

SYNNEX Vice President Kirk Nesbit recommends physical security and IT service providers partner to deliver strong solutions to end users.

In this interview, Kirk Nesbit, vice president, design and support services, SYNNEX Corp., discusses the convergence of the physical and cyber security worlds, and what that means for IT providers.

Physical security and network/cyber security have been separate markets with different skill sets. How does SYNNEX see these worlds coming together (or not)? And what has changed?

Nesbit: Physical security and cyber security historically existed as entirely separate entities. Today, physical security has evolved into a solution that largely lives on an organization’s IP network. As a result of this convergence, the provider responsible for the IP network must be well-informed so that the high-bandwidth requirements of video don’t degrade the performance of other applications and the overall quality of service for the organization’s users.

Do partners find that physical security shortcomings/compromises in their customers’ businesses have an impact on network/cyber security? If so, how?

Nesbit: In some of the recent cyber security breaches making headlines, businesses have traced the origin back to contractors or partners who had full rights to access the organization’s network and did not adhere to protocol. There is certainly a case to be made that an organization’s IT services provider is more of a trusted source for implementing all solutions that touch their network. This approach minimizes the number of contractors requiring access to the network and in theory, an IT services provider should already be better informed of network architecture needs as they apply to cyber security and performance. 

RELATED: Confronting the Cybersecurity Challenge

Are SYNNEX IT partners seeing any demand from their customers, particularly SMBs, for them to offer physical security solutions? How equipped are IT and network/cyber security providers to offer physical security solutions, and what is the opportunity?

Nesbit: SYNNEX is seeing a significant increase in IT service providers who are interested in physical security. The highest adoption rates have been from larger IT resellers with sizable services teams who see physical security merely as another application on the network. These resellers will often partner on the physical installation of the cameras and physical access components. We have also seen particularly high interest from IT resellers who sell into education, in part due to 1-to-1 computing initiatives, government mandates, and/or funding sources.

Should SYNNEX partners look to partner with physical security providers, or should they offer the solutions themselves, and what are the pros and cons of each?

Nesbit: Partnering with physical security providers is certainly an option in the solution delivery equation. Given the convergence of physical security and network security, a cohesive and cooperative strategy can be developed to greatly enhance both systems. 

A major downside is that end users can be unsure of who to contact when problems arise. They may find themselves asking whether they have a network issue or if the actual camera is broken. Another obstacle is that the IT reseller is entering a niche market that the physical security provider has long been dominant in, which may make them guarded in their willingness to partner together.

What recommendations can SYNNEX make to IT partners who want to get up to speed on physical security solutions?

Nesbit: Education is critical for IT resellers looking to take advantage of the opportunities that accompany selling physical security solutions. IT resellers should leverage their relationships with end users who have an increased role in decision making, given that the physical security components now overlap with the IP network. Additionally, a distributor like SYNNEX can fill in the gaps where the expertise and capability of the IT reseller falls short. 

There are specific areas affecting the physical security outcome that IT resellers are very capable of supporting. These include network design for QoS, multicasting, ensuring wireless coverage, securing remote access to the solution, storage options for video archives, and extending physical security components such as card access and IT security solutions such as two-factor authentication.

This article originally appeared on SSI‘s sister site

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