The real convergence

The Infosecurity event in NY this year again was coupled with a large physical security show. But the question is: Why?

Walking onto the expo floor, IT security pros had to amble through long lines of booths dedicated to the guns, gates and guards side of corporate operations before reaching the vendors in whose products they'd be interested.

Just like last year, organizers housing vendors from the two different market spaces on the same floor still are trumpeting information security and physical convergence. And while there may be some companies taking steps within their organizations to find both synergies and operational efficiencies between these two areas — after all, even we have reported on some of these companies in our own magazine's pages — most enterprises still have not.

Really, convergence of another kind, which also involves the IT security side of the house, is happening at a much more rapid rate. As Jim Carr reports in this month's cover story, “In the driver's seat,” large companies are trying to implement ways to more holistically address corporate risk by getting the IT and IT security departments to work together more openly.

Over the years, most companies evolved their information security programs with the threats. If a new attack type popped up, so did a new security solution. Often then, a company not wanting to be affected by that risk bought something to defend its network. Now, organizational leaders are finding that such an organically grown IT security infrastructure is quite difficult to manage, which often allows bad stuff to happen to networks that extend well beyond corporate walls. Vendors are seeing this, too, and are now trying to offer up appliance-based tools or more cohesive suites that provide a number of protections and central management capabilities. And, if they can't provide these more holistic security and systems controls through current products, they're buying up other vendors to help bolster their solution set.

In short, a coalescence in the market is happening — all driven by corporate hopes to reduce complexities, stave off data thieves, meet regulators' demands, save money and time, and get hold of ever-widening networks. It's a convergence of a different kind, but one that's long due.
Another long due change: an even more intuitive and easy-to-use SC Magazine website. Please take a look at (note that URL change) and let me hear your feedback. We've got tons of timely information on the site and have taken great steps to connect it all, while offering even more interesting offerings.

Illena Armstrong is SC Magazine's U.S. editor-in-chief.

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