Managing cloud security takes a holistic approach

A fully integrated plan involving both physical and IT security is critical


For instance, one typically under-utilized opportunity for integration is surveillance systems. While video today is ubiquitous, there are still many systems that utilize older analog equipment where digital and IP technology is readily available and can be less expensive in the overall cost of ownership. Moving to digital IP video systems enables roaming guards to receive real-time alerts through the use of handheld devices, which allows for rapid response to potential threats.

Video analytics have traditionally been rules-based systems, meaning software that allows you to write a rule using Boolean logic to anticipate suspicious behavior. The problem in that scenario is rules must be written for every camera since they will all have different views and encounter different potential threats. In addition, the operator needs to anticipate every potential threat, which is not really feasible. This setup can make rules based analytics software difficult to manage, while requiring substantial upkeep and providing disappointing results.

However, next-generation behavioral analytics packages operate by “learning” behavior through observation, completely eliminating the need to write rules. Within a few hours, the software learns to identify ongoing “normal” behavior and only sends out alerts or alarms related to “out of the ordinary” behavior, which can then be sent to a guard’s handheld unit to facilitate rapid response and stop potential breaches. This kind of system essentially allows the user to “set it and forget it,” making it one of the easiest, most effective systems to install and use.

The advent of IP video enables the monitoring of locations remotely via online IP networks. The beauty of this monitoring option is that it keeps a watchful eye and enables rapid, on-site response while continuing to monitor the situation. Implementing security solutions that are both cost effective and friendly to the environment are now paramount to safeguarding our nation’s future -- a future that depends on us developing long-term strategies that anticipates threats and adapts to trends in both physical and IT security.

Louisiana’s Port Fourchon, which services over 90 percent of the Gulf of Mexico's deepwater oil production, recently partnered with Crescent Guardian security and BRS Labs to integrate next generation behavioral analytics software to accompany its new advanced video surveillance system. This award-winning, state-of-the-art system began to operate immediately -- generating alerts, alarms and learning behavior from the moment it was turned on.

This kind of software instantly recognizes anything out of the ordinary and automatically sends alerts to officials, without needing to be programmed. This breakthrough ensures that first responders in Port Fourchon are receiving real-time alerts, ultimately improving response times and increasing situational awareness.

The US Department of Defense supported Port Fourchon's efforts by sharing the DoD-developed capabilities of the Knowledge Display and Aggregation System (KDAS) to serve as the basis for the Port's incident command and control system. The use of KDAS provides Port Fourchon with the unique ability to network its system with the DoD in the event of an incident requiring crucial information sharing.

The Greater Lafourche Port Commission’s new system, developed through a collaboration of several companies, is comprised of Disparate Data Sets, Incident Management, What If? Analysis, CCTV integration, Video Analytics, and Alerting integration. Soon, the Harbor Intrusion Detection System (Waterside Radar) will be integrated as well.

As criminals become more tech-savvy, it is up to security professionals to stay several steps ahead. While completely eliminating all threats is impossible, a comprehensive, integrated security plan that converges both physical and IT security can put companies in a position of power instead of fear, action instead of reaction.

Securing both public and private cloud environments, along with understanding both the risks and benefits of cloud computing for physical security, presents a sizeable challenge for security professions -- but nothing the continuously evolving security industry can’t handle. In short, physical and cyber security teams simply must work together now to better anticipate, thwart and reduce threats.