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Cyber-physical forum

Threats aren’t only physical any more; yet nor are they purely cyber. So what are they? A seminar in London during IFSEC week discussed. Mark Rowe dropped by.

The day was aimed at corporate chief security officer level, for speakers included Shawn Scott, head of information security at Thames Water; Grant Cambridge, director global security EMEIA for audit firm EY; James Morris, regional security manager at insurer Aon; and Matthew Drew, group security director, Rolls Royce. Much of the day by CTG Intelligence in central London, as a ‘cyber-physical convergence forum’, crossed over from cyber to physical, showing that you cannot have one without the other, whether in terms of training (what if a corporate security guard is really good at meeting and greeting at reception; but are they able to work in a SOC – a security operations centre?) or team work between IT and security, to do IT and network security. There was talk of balance, between automating everything and ‘old school’ security. And if you are bringing on a new, IP system to replace an old, legacy system, that normally cannot be turned off, you have to make sure that the migration is quick.

To say the same thing another way, while talk was of PSIM (physical security information management) and SOCs, it was also of the ‘human factor’, for one thing how important it is for security people to communicate, whether as soon as possible to include security in the design of a project, or to make the case – ‘every idea we have to sell’ said one speaker – for security. That may mean, to take the case of a stadium with wi-fi, to use the wi-fi network for public consumption.

There was a recognition that thanks to the Internet of Things, IT and physical security colleagues are coming together – which gives more cause for communication, to get things done. Because any device that connects to the network is important; and that goes for any sort of business, judging by the range of sectors that speakers came from; housing, utilities, telecoms, charities, besides cyber.

Panel

Pictured is a panel that closed the day. Left to right they are the panel moderator Letitia Emeana, the new EMEA senior security manager for Tesla, having moved from Amazon. As an aside, Amazon had a banner at the ASIS UK stand during IFSEC as they were recruiting loss prevention managers – another case, come to think of it, of ‘cyber-physical convergence’. The speakers were Dawn Holmes, technical security specialist at Bloomberg; consultant Chris Aldous of Security Design; Ricky Smith of 10XL Luxury Security Solutions, who has a retail loss prevention background; and Brian Jackson, head of BT Surveillance at the telecoms company.

The topics of the seminar lent themselves to the event’s look and feel; giving attenders time (if they can spare it!?) for talking and thinking about such profound questions for the security (and related, such as data protection and compliance) professional, both during the sessions proper and more informally during the breaks and afterwards. Questions that are otherwise all too easily shelved or treated in a rush if they are at all, in the hurly-burly of business.

CTG Intelligence run similar forums in the United States besides the UK. A ‘Managed Security Services London’ event is running at the same venue, Club Quarters’ Hotel, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, on Thursday, September 20. Visit http://www.ctgintelligence.com/new-events. For other events see also http://physical-cyber.com/.

More in the September 2018 print issue of Professional Security magazine.


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