2022 Cybersecurity Deep Dive: Have Integrators Finally Embraced Cyber?

With the growing ubiquity of security devices and systems deployed on enterprise networks, integrators continue to grapple with the mammoth threat of cybercrime. SSI’s 2022 Cybersecurity Deep Dive shows industry’s present posture on knowledge, training, end-user and manufacturer challenges, liability, and opportunities.

2022 Cybersecurity Deep Dive: Have Integrators Finally Embraced Cyber?

Freshmen who enrolled in a university in 2018 are due to graduate this spring, capping off what is typically one of the most transformative four-year periods in a person’s life. For those who fully engage in the process, the rise in maturity level is often impressive and the wealth of knowledge gained can be staggering.

As those eager and likely apprehensive collegians began their higher education journeys, an important benchmark was being established in the electronic security industry — the 2018 SSI Physical-Logical Security Assessment.

Repositioned for 2022 as the Cybersecurity Deep Dive — similar to measuring a student’s college entry exams against postgraduate evaluations — this instrument has been deployed to determine how security dealers’ and integrators’ levels of comfort, comprehension and capabilities relative to securing data and devices in an increasingly digital world have progressed the past four years.

The survey assesses advances, stagnations and regressions in physical security professionals’ perspectives on networking, IT and cybersecurity.

The cost of cybercrime to the global community is predicted to hit $10.5 trillion annually by 2025 (Cybersecurity Ventures). And while most dealers and integrators have not yet achieved the equivalent of magna cum laude in this area of study, the results show they have clearly been busy boning up on cybersecurity and its now symbiotic relationship with electronic or physical security.

That is indeed encouraging for just as the path to a successful career after school has become more competitive and challenging so too has the business of security, which today also contends with a landscape of ever-escalating cyber threats and attacks.

The Cybersecurity Deep Dive found substantial increases reported by dealers and integrators in known breaches to their customers’ IT networks as well as compromised devices and systems residing on those networks.

Specific to networked physical security, respondents identified the highest level of vulnerability concern in the government, critical infrastructure and financial institutions markets, and from a technology standpoint the greatest risk being associated with wireless video surveillance. The incidence of equipment vulnerabilities reported to manufacturers rose 25 percentage points.

Against that backdrop, the survey shows dealers and integrators are stepping up their game in this arena. Examples include being more knowledgeable and better prepared overall, and significant advances in insurance policies, customer contracts, best practices, internal and customer networks penetration testing, and a heavy emphasis on IT and cybersecurity competencies in recruiting and training for both technical and sales positions.

Although not part of the survey, it’s worth noting the industry’s upsurge in IT certified and credentialed technicians. The Deep Dive also demonstrates a shift in mindset as evidenced as by not only accepting the need to contend with cybersecurity as a physical security systems provider where less than 10 years ago it was dismissed out of hand, but also to consider if not embrace the opportunities it brings.

Nearly all respondents reported their companies are either presently doing so, in the process of implementing or at least considering offering cybersecurity-related products and/or services, such as those of a managed security service provider (MSSP).

Additional challenges facing the electronic security industry according to this dataset include a higher priority and far more dollars being directed toward cyber rather than physical security systems, and complications imposed working with end users’ IT departments.

In general, the bulk of the 2022 SSI Cybersecurity Deep Dive shows the industry heading in a positive direction, with the imperative to remain proactive and vigilant. Indeed, those who have “majored” in electronic security are well advised to at least “minor” in cybersecurity.

View the slideshow for the an entire view of the deep dive.

About the Author

Contact:

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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