Cybersecurity Risk Is Real: SSI’s 2017 Physical-Logical Security Assessment

It’s no secret that the physical security industry has been slow to take the cybersecurity threat seriously. SSI‘s Physical-Logical Security Assessment reveals what holes need to be plugged.

Hard as it may be for some to believe in 2017, the electronic security profession is only about three years removed from all but those considered alarmists and fringe-dwellers dismissing cybersecurity as having little relevance to industry practitioners.

Today, most dealers, integrators and manufacturers have come to terms with the sobering reality that – unless you want to confine your business to the ever-shrinking realm of standalone analog systems – cyber threats are a legitimate and constant threat to networked physical security products and solutions.

While awareness and in some cases remediation tactics have elevated, the vulnerability vectors continue to soar.

It’s the perfect storm: an insatiable lust by consumers and organizations for convenience and connectivity in which lives and businesses run through mobile devices; an explosion of Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled products flooding the marketplace; and cyber-crime and hacking reaching epidemic proportions.

Just as with security systems’ false alarms being overwhelmingly due to human carelessness so too are the majority of network breaches, poor or compromised passwords being a prime example.

Results of SSI ‘s new Physical-Logical Security Assessment (PLSA) are promising in that regard, as 61% of responding integrators and dealers have implemented best cybersecurity practices within their organizations, which is more than double the percentage from 2014.

Those respondents also indicate they are more educated about IT/cybersecurity and eager to learn more. However, the third annual PLSA – conducted by EH Media Research in cooperation with leading industry groups and involving nearly 300 execs and managers from a range of company sizes throughout the United States and Canada – also brings to light several areas in need of serious attention and improvement.

Dealers/integrators are significantly more concerned about the potential impact of cybersecurity on customers and the overall threat to electronic security, and express higher certainty that the worst is yet to materialize.

There is also greater skepticism about the Cloud and especially home networks. Meanwhile, they are more worried than ever about product vulnerability and lack faith in manufacturers’ diligence.

Back to the optimistic side of the coin, more firms are seeing cyber as an opportunity and are also mulling expanding into offering related services. Overall, the electronic security community is on higher alert where it comes to cybersecurity than it was a year ago.

It’s as if in 2015, the industry realized, “Holy crap, what are we going to do?!” In 2016, it was, “OK, we’re getting a handle on this.” And now it is, “Wow, this is harder than we thought.” Hard, yes. Insurmountable? Heck no.

View the SSI 2017 Physical-Logical Security Assessment

About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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