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New Opportunities for IT Professionals

Connected Security and Cyber-Physical Convergence are on display at ISC West

At one time, being an IT professional meant a clear focus of overseeing computer systems, devices and networks.  Those days in siloes are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Security has become more complex and inter-related, and physical, operational (OT) and information (IT) del teams all have to interact and establish communication and trust. With IT professionals becoming a key part of the collaborative process and important for success with converged physical / IoT security projects,  that's why security solutions and education for IT professionals will be prevalent  at  ISC West 2019, says Will Wise, Group Vice President, Security Portfolio at Reed Exhibitions.

As if the point needs stressing, convergence is not a philosophical exercise, says Johna Till Johnson, CEO and founder of Nemertes Research, who'll be speaking at ISC West, heading up a session called "Cybersecurity by the Numbers: Maturity Metrics of Successful Security Organizations."  In an example of this new reality, a client asked her what kind of firewall an HVAC system needed. "The physical world and IoT have gotten so advanced. They're driving the merger," she says.

ISCWest IT Connected Home

The shift isn't wholesale and suddenly all encompassing.  IT doesn't suddenly need to be concerned with static doorknobs, and barriers. But as soon as connectivity is required/implemented, the game changes right away.  One step IT professionals can make is to help OT professionals with basic security best practices, such as ensuring that everything on the network is encrypted. At a fundamental level, the collaboration prevents the constant reinvention of the wheel, Johnson says.

This year's ISC West education will highlight the comprehensive spectrum of security.  One major emphasis is the Connected Security Track, which was added to the program three years ago. Wise says that this year it will include 16 sessions, with the underlying theme of how to successfully make cyber and physical teams into a cohesive unit, and how to integrate for success. Another front burner topic this year is the rise of intelligence in physical security, and how to monitor and analyze data in real time, and to set policies to detect and prevent. For example, and right on the heels of the "American AI Initiative" signed by President Trump, there are several sessions on AI and machine learning.

Johnson says that in the last year, other concerns have developed that require attention, which include:

ISCWest IT SIA Education

The overlying issue is the conversation that security teams still need to have. Physical or operational teams often plug a new technology into the network without realizing the traffic and storage it adds. Then, an incident happens, prompting someone from IT to ask, Who put this on the server? "It's a reactive conversation," Johnson says. "Now it's about having a proactive one."

View the full list of SIA Education@ISC sessions and register for ISC West today.