Convergence of physical and logical identity using biometrics
When we refer to physical security we specifically mean access to buildings, sensitive areas and data rooms and server racks. Logical security refers to single sign-on (SSO), mobile sign-on or computer sign-on. Although traditionally separate domains, physical and logical security departments in many organisations are looking at biometric solutions to provide an increased level of protection. Is your organisation ready to reap the rewards of convergence by integrating independent security approaches, using biometrics?
Two approaches, one goal
All organisations commit their physical and logical security personnel to the same objective - securing the organisation's critical assets. Whether it is to ensure that only authorised users are given access to a building or a network, security gates are guarded allowing only the right people in. Both of these departments work towards achieving the same goal but approach it from different angles.
Traditionally, physical and IT security departments have been operating in tandem, but as risks continue to increase and those risks become more sophisticated, many international government agencies have made convergence a key priority for the public sector. Now, as public sector agencies have gained traction with mitigating security risks, commercial organisations have begun to adopt a convergence initiative.
Biometrics: The heart of convergence policy
Converging the defensive efforts of physical and logical security departments, allows an organisation to drastically reduce security risks while also helping save time and money. Once integrated, these two departments are better positioned to collaborate. This ensures physical access to buildings is linked closely with logical access to computers and network resources: for example, a biometric identity system would be linked and encrypted to allow the authorised user access to the appropriate IT system. Similarly, actions to restrict an employee's physical access can be used to trigger automated network restrictions on the logical side, thus ensuring both departments are consistently on the same page when it comes to organisational security.
To take full advantage of a converged security system, the organisation must start with a rock solid biometric identity management system that is integrated with a physical access control platform, allowing the organisation to closely match physical and logical security initiatives in harmony. Biometric identity systems manage all user identities and protect information resources and corporate information systems from unauthorised access. The access control platform manages all physical access control, alarm monitoring and badging systems. With this type of integration, organisations attain an identity-enabled infrastructure to automate the management of roles and secure access to information and facilities.
Once a biometric system is established, automated user provisioning is critical to control user access to different systems while also gaining a comprehensive overview of access times and events. Convergence allows an organisation to create a central unified security policy across the entire organisation, removing the security silos of previous more inefficient approaches.
Convergence also reduces cost and increases productivity by simplifying the process of manually managing identity information across several systems. Now, user data can automatically be synchronised across multiple locations and systems, allowing security personnel to maintain a single point of management for all users, update role changes and terminate user access. The end result is tighter security controls across all organisational systems.
Tackling internal threats
From an organisational perspective, insider threats continue to hinder organisations, as many do not effectively monitor what each employee can access in terms of the physical building and the IT network. By converging security approaches, each employee’s access is restricted to authorised corporate assets, eliminating the risk insiders can pose.
As the mobile workforce increases, remote workers bring with them fresh security challenges to light. With biometric identity solutions, organisations can use roles and access rights to restrict remote users from inappropriate or irrelevant systems when outside the company’s firewall. Securing remote access is also paramount when decommissioning terminated employees. If an employee is denied building access on his last day of work but can still access the network remotely, even for a brief period of time, there is an opportunity for sabotage. By controlling who can enter a specific location or IT network, the potential for damaging security and data breaches is considerably reduced.
Time to take action
Considering the plethora of modern day security threats (cyber-terrorism, identity theft, data breaches, malware/ransomware attacks, insider threats, etc.) a single, one-dimensional approach to IT and asset security simply cannot protect an organisation to its greatest potential. Integration of physical and logical identity using biometric solutions provides a clearer overview of access times and incidences across the entire organisation, keeping a watchful eye to ensure only the right people gain access to the right areas of the business, right from the front door to the desk.
Whether you’re already in the process or are looking at adopting a secure converged identity policy soon, get in touch with the experts at SecurAX. Our advisers will guide you through the several options available that will allow your organisation to take full advantage of the convergence between IT and physical security using biometric systems.