Cybersecurity and Physical Security – How similar are they?

Organisations with a sizeable revenue usually have two separate teams for Physical Security and Cybersecurity. Both have the responsibility of keeping the company’s assets safe.

Physical Security risks are simple enough for most people to understand.

We lock doors to prevent the entry of unauthorised people. If we move into a rented house, some of us may go to the extent of changing all the locks, inspect all the exterior doors to make sure the door frames are sturdy, the hinges are protected, etc. We may even provide extra protection to what people consider as valuable goods.


If we look closely, we will realise the causes and principles involved in physical security and cybersecurity are not very different.

The primary principles behind any security are these identifications:

  • What to protect?
  • Who to protect from?
  • What is vulnerable?
  • What could be the consequences?

Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

Identify your important assets

When we consider a Video Management System, the recordings of the system become the assets. Not everyone in the organisation has access to these. Similarly, user credentials, information related to configurations, access to the software or hardware devices may all be of interest to an attacker.

Identify the threats

Sometimes, users with valid access become a threat due to lack of knowledge or carelessness. So, ensure any asset within the organisation is accessible by only the ones that need to.

Hardware failures are one of the common threats. People who do not like to be watched may try to sabotage the surveillance systems. Services exposed to the internet may become prey to non-targeted attacks. Terrorists may plan and try to organise an attack on a specific network.

Identify the vulnerabilities

Like in physical security doors and windows are the vulnerable attack points, cybersecurity can also be maximum when you identify such vulnerabilities. Sometimes, certain protection techniques may add obstacles or increase the cost. This doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.

Generally, people think cybersecurity attacks can only be sophisticated. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Faulty devices, device interfaces also can be vulnerable to attacks. However, these attacks occur in large scale due to lack of awareness about the policies and procedures involved while dealing with suppliers or service providers.

Identify the consequences

Unauthorised access to video recordings might not cause any financial loss directly. However, when thought through, we never know what an attacker’s intention is. Also, unauthorised access to some assets may reduce the system performance, thus leading to operational downtime. There are many angles to compromised security. A leaked video may break the credibility of the organisation. A single non-configured system may compromise the whole network.

Like the quality of any asset or resource, quality of the security measures you have matter a lot. Always accept security services from a trusted partner in the industry.

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