Holistic Security; how resellers should look to capitalise from a shortage in skills.

Evidence suggests that there is a growing army of IT professionals now specifying and sourcing physical security solutions. As a result, the traditional installers of these systems are struggling to familiarise themselves with a range of fresh IT skills.

A recent IMS Research market study of physical security system installers found that many were unsure of IT disciplines such as intelligent switch management and network security.

Acting on this skills shortage, integrators from the IT world should take advantage by getting involved with physical security projects.

Physical security (such as alarm systems, video surveillance and access controls) and IT security (such as firewalls and intrusion detection) have traditionally been managed by different departments with separate networks, technology paths and user interfaces. But this is changing.

It makes sense for a company to establish a centralised control of their security systems making holistic security, the convergence of physical security and information security, the most logical solution.

The trend towards holistic security was evidenced recently by the £220million robbery attempt on Sumitomo Mitsui bank.

They will be the first company to entirely converge their IT and physical security systems which amongst other things will enable them to use a single system to identify physical location and network activity of their staff.

Figures recently released from Gartner demonstrate strong growth of 14.8% in the worldwide security market. They also predict that the industry will see a shift towards converged security, and away from standalone security products.

Distributors of IP based security and network products are in an enviable position as they are well equipped to facilitate holistic security solutions.

To prioritise the key convergence goals for an organisation, resellers need to look at the common business drivers and their relationship to security convergence; risk management for example.

An integrated approach to security systems that sit within the company boundaries may be the first step for an enterprise and reseller.

Securing the server room, for example, using a combination of biometrics and logical identity management tools could provide a useful initial stepping stone.

Savvy resellers will view the emerging holistic security market as a business opportunity and many are doing so already. In a recent survey of our reseller partners, 61% said they were looking to move into or were already operating in the converged security market.

Holistic security is happening now. With momentum building the time is ripe for resellers to capitalise or risk being left behind.