The inevitability of convergence

March 2019 Editor's Choice, Conferences & Events, Training & Education

It may not be immediately clear as to how, but physical and cybersecurity are converging and the need for a combination of cyber and physical defences will soon, if they aren’t already, become a non-negotiable addition to enterprise security systems.

When you consider that today we are able to remotely control virtually all of our security systems, from those that govern our data to those that protect our physical businesses, it should come as no surprise that hackers are able to do so as well.

The exponential adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) – with more devices than ever before operating through the cloud, 22 billion by 2020 estimates IMS Research – has made it necessary for security experts to consider the correlations between physical and cybersecurity, including the shared risk factors and the shared protective measures that can be taken.

Most modern buildings, for example, include video surveillance systems, access controls, elevator systems and even digitally controlled air-conditioning lines, which can all be accessed and controlled remotely and are thereby vulnerable to security breaches.

Consider Lappeenranta, a small town in Finland, the residents of which found themselves freezing in sub-zero temperatures when attackers caused heating systems to go offline using a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack in 2017.

Another example is when two hackers took over 123 of the 187 cameras used by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC) for four days in early 2017. The main aim of the attack was to use police department computers to e-mail ransomware to more than 179 000 accounts. However, it also meant that the police department was unable to record video from their security cameras for several days before Donald Trump was sworn in as president.

When you consider the types of people we’re talking about here, there is always the risk that a cybercriminal could pose a serious threat to the physical safety of the workplace. Using their way of thinking, the possibilities are endless – imagine a fire alarm with all exits locked and panicked staff, or no fire alarm at all when it’s really needed.

It’s best to avoid being naïve or trusting when it comes to security. The networked enablement of business functions is forcing companies to see that physical and cybersecurity must be treated in a unified manner.

The good news is that businesses are seeing how the convergence of physical and cybersecurity is increasing operational efficiencies, with many taking the necessary steps to protect themselves and their customers by using cybersecurity innovations to protect their physical systems.

Securex South Africa is mirroring the industry’s advancement towards this convergence, tackling this topic as well as a myriad of other issues facing the security industry both now and into the future.

Securex South Africa 2019 will take place from 14 to 16 May 2019 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, and will continue its mandate of providing a place and space for security solution providers to showcase the latest in technological advancements, with a focused view to assisting businesses in safeguarding all of their assets.

So far a number of cybersecurity focused organisations have confirmed their commitment to the 2019 show, including XGRC Software, Glovent Solutions, One Source Africa, NTSIKA Cybersecurity, AccTech Azure, AccTech People, Dynamics Africa and BluESP.

For more information on the expo, please contact Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery on +27 11 835 1565, or visit


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

SMART Estate Security returns to KZN
Nemtek Electric Fencing Products Technews Publishing Axis Communications SA OneSpace Editor's Choice News & Events Integrated Solutions IoT & Automation
The second SMART Estate Security Conference of 2024 was held in May in KwaZulu-Natal at the Mount Edgecombe Estate Conference Centre, which is located on the Estate’s pristine golf course.

Creating employment through entrepreneurship
Technews Publishing Marathon Consulting Editor's Choice Integrated Solutions Residential Estate (Industry)
Eduardo Takacs’s journey is a testament to bona fide entrepreneurial resilience, making him stand out in a country desperate for resilient businesses in the small and medium enterprise space that can create employment opportunities.

2024 Southern Africa OSPAs winners announced
Editor's Choice
The 2024 Southern Africa Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) winners were revealed on Tuesday, June 11th, at the Securex South Africa Seminar Theatre hosted by SMART Security Solutions.

Resident management app shows significant growth
Editor's Choice
My Estate Life is a mobile app for residents and managers in housing estates and buildings. Its core aim is to be an easy gateway for residents to manage visitors and staff, and to communicate and administer general property in a simple interface.

Local manufacturing is still on the rise
Hissco Editor's Choice News & Events Security Services & Risk Management
HISSCO International, Africa's largest manufacturer of security X-ray products, has recently secured a multi-continental contract to supply over 55 baggage X-ray screening systems in 10 countries.

NEC XON shares lessons learned from ransomware attacks
NEC XON Editor's Choice Information Security
NEC XON has handled many ransomware attacks. We've distilled key insights and listed them in this article to better equip companies and individuals for scenarios like this, which many will say are an inevitable reality in today’s environment.

SAIDSA achieves ISO 9001 certification
SAIDSA(SA Intruder Detection Services Association) Associations News & Events Training & Education
The South African Intruder Detection Services Association (SAIDSA) has announced that it has achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification. This milestone reflects its commitment to quality management and excellence in the security services industry.

Helping to build safer workplace environments
Securex South Africa News & Events
A-OSH EXPO 2024 serves as a comprehensive, all-inclusive platform for industry safety specialists sourcing occupational safety and health (OSH) technology and services. It will be held at Gallagher Convention Centre from 11 to 13 June 2024

Facility focus
Securex South Africa News & Events
The Facilities Management Expo is the premier destination for facility and building managers seeking products and services to optimise the efficiency of their facilities and maximise employee comfort and satisfaction.

The future of digital identity in South Africa
Editor's Choice Access Control & Identity Management
When it comes to accessing essential services, such as national medical care, grants and the ability to vote in elections to shape national policy, a valid identity document is critical.