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The inevitability of convergence
March 2019, This Week's Editor's Pick, 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

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Further reading:

  • 2019 Internet of Things (IoT) Barometer
    March 2019, This Week's Editor's Pick, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
    A majority of businesses that use IoT technology agree that it has either disrupted their industry or will do so in the next five years.
  • Securex South Africa 2019
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    Securex South Africa 2019    14 – 16 May 2019 Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg Celebrating its 25th edition, Securex South Africa 2018 was a resounding success. Securex South Africa returns as ...
  • Ideal operating temperature?
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    Walk into any CCTV control room in South Africa, whether in the middle of a heat wave or mid-winter, and you will probably see a number of operators wearing jackets, some huddled over slightly in an attempt to get warm.
  • Halt, who goes there?
    March 2019, Technews Publishing, Wolfpack Information Risk, This Week's Editor's Pick, Cyber Security
    As long as organisations treat their physical and cyber domains as separate, there is little hope of securing either one.
  • Using security to enhance the customer experience?
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  • Intelligent video transforms the ­in-store experience
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    Modern retail cash management has evolved so far from the old ‘dumb’ safe that it has become an essential enabler of today’s business.
  • IoT is convergence in action
    March 2019, Gijima Electronic and Security Systems (GESS), NEC XON, Technews Publishing, Axiz, G4S South Africa, This Week's Editor's Pick, Cyber Security, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
    The Internet of Things gains more than enough attention these days, but the IoT demonstrates the reality of the convergence between the physical and cyber worlds, and physical security is part of it.
  • Stop hacking of access control ­systems
    March 2019, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Cyber Security
    Think someone hacking your access control system not a big deal? Scott Lindley suggests that you think again.
  • Changing the security landscape
    March 2019, Technews Publishing, This Week's Editor's Pick, News, Security Services & Risk Management
    Using smart technology and an intelligent platform, Aura has a vision to reduce crime in South Africa by 50% by 2025.
  • New cybersecurity pavilion for Securex 2019
    March 2019, Securex South Africa , This Week's Editor's Pick, Cyber Security, News, Conferences & Events, Training & Education
    Securex South Africa 2019 has announced that 4Sight Technologies, a subsidiary of an international holdings company focusing on investing in Industry 4.0 companies, has signed on as the official sponsor ...
  • Countering the threats of retail ­terrorist vehicle attacks
    March 2019, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Security Services & Risk Management, Retail (Industry)
    Bollard systems operate individually or in groups and are aesthetically pleasing and let pedestrians move between them in non-roadway applications.

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