Cybersecurity + Networks

3 Ways Physical Security Network Automation Saves Time and Money

Brad Konkle 3 Min Read | September 6, 2019
Man in server room looks at screen

Security professionals in IT and physical security have a common goal: Keep the company’s assets safe and protected from theft or abuse.

3 Ways Physical Security Network Automation Saves Time and Money

Security professionals in IT and physical security have a common goal: Keep the company’s assets safe and protected from theft or abuse.

As physical security and IT have converged in recent years, new security devices are typically installed on the IT network rather than on a dedicated communication segment. It has become even more important to manage these devices correctly and efficiently to save time and money.

Physical security network automation tools are designed to help you identify configuration settings, manage configuration changes and help with policy compliance of your physical security devices.

1. Automatically Inventory and Identify Assets

The decision to deploy a camera or access control reader is typically a need-based decision, but without a significant amount of diligence, it is unlikely that the serial number, MAC address, firmware version and other important information are recorded anywhere. In fact, most organizations have no idea how many devices they have deployed or where they are.

This may not seem like an important concern, but what happens if a vulnerability is discovered in one of those devices? How do you assess your risk and respond if you don’t even know you have a compromised device installed?

This isn’t a problem isolated to large companies. According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 58% of cyber attack victims were small businesses. Having security automation tools that can inventory your security devices is the first step to having good cyber hygiene.

An effective security automation tool provides automatic discovery of security devices, collects the important details and gives you a consolidated report that includes all of this information. This saves you time and eliminates the need for expensive surveys and inventories by providing continuous scanning and discovery of security devices.

2. Automate and Schedule Firmware Updates

Applying regular firmware updates to cameras and card readers is important to address device performance and cybersecurity concerns. The problem is that it can be time consuming to identify the devices and then find the appropriate firmware. Even when you have trusted firmware, installing it and testing takes a considerable amount of time.

Security automation tools with firmware update management capabilities provide automatic discovery of security devices, and let you build firmware profiles for automatic deployment. This allows you to measure compliance to your existing policies and standards, and saves you time by automating updates and testing device functionality post-upgrade.

3. Detect and Solve Problems

One of the biggest challenges that a physical security professional has is missing video evidence. Most CCTV systems are used forensically – there isn’t someone actively monitoring the cameras all the time – and video is only used to investigate the details of what happened.

Everyone assumes that the cameras are recording because the live stream looks OK, but that doesn’t mean that the video was recorded to the hard drive. Specialized security monitoring tools can verify every component of the system – from edge device to network to server components – with a single interface.

It’s estimated that in traditional break-fix service, 80% of the time is spent troubleshooting and identifying the issue and only 20% is spent fixing it. The great news is that if you have a security automation tool, once an issue is detected, not only are you notified, but the advanced automation tool can recommend a fix based on past issues or current symptoms, which eliminates much of the guesswork and wasted time.

Whether you choose to deploy an automation tool yourself or rely on a partner to bundle it with a managed service program, you can rest assured that security automation will save you time and money, while helping you protect your business.

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