The IoTSF Smart Built Environment (SBE) Group includes senior professionals from all areas of security risk management. The focus on collaboration between cyber and physical security is set out in its best practice guide for Facilities Professionals, stating ‘… it is essential that those teams work together’ (p17). Without a converged security strategy it is unlikely that real time attacks on IoT devices and systems will be recognised and effectively managed. Hence at an operational level it is important to see physical and cyber-attacks on buildings at the same time in one location. If essential services like, lighting, video and physical access systems are compromised, both teams need to understand the required response and communicate this to the appropriate team.

For over twenty years organisations have considered the benefits of converged security strategies but few have developed them sufficiently to build converged security centres. The IoTSF has worked with IFSEC International since 2018 to promote the importance of Converged Security in Smart Buildings. Sarb Sembhi (Board Member, IOTSF) and James Willison ( Project and Engagement Manager, IOTSF) have written many articles, participated in several webinars and hosted the Converged Security Centre at the industry’s showcase event. We are grateful for the significant support from IFSEC and their own vision for championing converged security. In May 2023 James and Sarb hosted the Converged Security Centre at IFSEC International, Excel Centre, London UK.

It is recognised by many threat analysts that hybrid cyber-physical, IoT, OT attacks are increasing and so the risk manager needs to understand how to manage this growing attack surface. In this video interview recorded at the show by David McClelland, from IFSEC Insider, James and Sarb discuss why an organisation should build a Converged Security Centre.

  • the ability to see cyber and physical attacks on an organisation and its assets in one location,
  • a single view of risk and a joined up response.
  • the significance of increasingly integrated technologies and the need for a converged response to attackers who don’t care whether they use cyber or physical attack vectors.

They conclude with a consideration of the role of Converged Security Centres in the protection of premises and events from terrorism and emphasise the importance of cyber secure systems for Martyn’s law so that the physical risk of terrorism is more effectively managed. It is critical to know that you are controlling your systems rather than an attacker.

The IoTSF has long championed its moto, “build secure, buy secure, be secure”.

Sarb and James have led the IoTSF SBE WG since 2018.

CTA: Join Sarb, James and the SBE WG to explore how to reduce the risk of cyber-attacks on the Smart Built Environment with a range of stakeholders from Building Owners, Procurement, Building Technologies, CISOs and CSOs.

To better understand this area of risk management, download the IOTSF Best Practice Guide: IoT Cybersecurity for Facilities Professionals in the Smart Built Environment.

Our next WG call takes place from 12 – 1pm on September 13th: All are welcome. Contact James Willison for details.

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