Live from SecureWorld - Philadelphia

ST&D editor-in-chief Steve Lasky reports in from an expo that brings together physical and IT security staff

Another peer-to-peer roundtable tackled the emerging convergence issues surrounding physical and logical security technology and management. Session leader Gene Murphy, manager of security services for Unisys, comes from the IT environment but works closely with his physical security counterpart Eileen Wieber. Murphy pointed out that he has seen a paradigm shift in the way his department now goes to business and that has impacted security as a whole at Unisys.

"Business is now driving technology, whereas five years ago you saw technology driving business. On the IT side we felt we were on the battle front introducing new things and gadgets to help enable our business enterprise," Murphy said. "Now, whether it is a result of a slow economy or a more prudent business approach, business is now turning to the IT department and challenging us to come up with answers. From mobile technology to scalability issues, business is driving our department. We {IT} opened the eyes of business across the country on what could be. And now corporate is hungry for more."

With that being said, Murphy challenged his peers to answer a simple question, "if IT appears to be in the drivers seat and business is challenging departments to show some economy of scale, why is there not more cooperation between physical and IT security departments?"

Bernard Gollotti, CPP, executive director of public safety for Drexel University admitted their was some distrust between departments in many instances. "There is a real feeling among physical security directors that we are not brought in until things are out of control. For months we are kept out of the process, but once there is a breech we are looked to as the ones who are supposed to have the answers and solve the problem. Why weren't we in the loop from the beginning?

"No security manager wants to have to be the IT watchdog. But there is a real void in collaboration the higher up you go in the respective departments," continued Gollotti,

The SecureWorld Expo will continue Thursday at the Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia. Security Technology & Design magazine will be hosting a full day of physical security seminars in convergence, enterprise-wide access control, biometrics and IP-addressable video surveillance. The SecureWorld, Voice of the Expert events will be continuing in cities across the country. For more info visit: