What Zero Trust Means for Physical Security Systems – SecurityInfoWatch

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 Departments and agencies are embarking on a path to achieve Zero Trust, but this will take many years and billions of dollars to materialize. Standards and definitions, such as where the Zero Trust boundary is set and its minimum requirements, will shift over time. Solutions that can move agencies toward Zero Trust without massive “rip and replace” actions will be extremely attractive in the near term.

Cloud-based services – massive infrastructure integration with micro-segmentation into discrete networks or services is the path of many agencies and will certainly shape the acquisition policies of most requests. Certain entities – notably in the Departments of Defense and Energy – will need hybrid infrastructure solutions (cloud and on-prem) for continuous, uninterrupted operations and mission assurance. These systems must also adhere to the Zero Trust requirements and will increase their value and effectiveness through a sound, secure path to share data with the larger data cloud.

How Zero Trust Will Evolve

Continuous device, user, and data monitoring is a significant challenge that will not have a silver bullet solution. It will require solutions providers to be knowledgeable and proactive cyber citizens to realize the architecture and push the borders of what’s possible. Physical security systems must incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) tools to achieve this like IT networks will. Data itself also poses a myriad of challenges. Cloud-based, plug-and-play architecture requires common storage, monitoring, analytics, and data standards.

AI tools that monitor the system’s data flows and sensor feeds can automate monitoring to significantly ease the burden on the human in the loop, even to the point of automated response and dispatch. U.S. government agencies also desire the transition to cloud-based services – Physical Security Systems as a Service is an attractive alternative to the current practice of Requirements Development – Solicitation – Buy – Own & Operate, Rinse and Repeat in five years for some agencies.

The amount of data that can be used to build an all-encompassing security picture incorporating (human resources, user network activities, physical security, facilities, weather, local news and more) is staggering and beyond the means of a human to process. Zero Trust will require “data on data” for system health monitoring and “data assurance.”

Adopting Zero Trust principles marks a pivotal shift in physical security systems, propelling them beyond traditional perimeter-based approaches toward a more dynamic and resilient framework. As government agencies and enterprises navigate the complexities of this transition, they must confront both the challenges and opportunities it presents, from evolving policies and integration hurdles to the promise of enhanced data-driven insights and proactive threat mitigation.

By embracing Zero Trust as not just a cybersecurity imperative but a fundamental philosophy guiding the safeguarding of physical assets, organizations can forge a path toward greater resilience, agility, and confidence in an ever-evolving threat landscape.

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