Features > Security
Physical Security and Information Security into Convergence Security – A to Z Security Consulting from LG CNS (5) –

In the last posting, we talked about the methodologies for security risk analytics. Today, let’s take a look at developing trends in physical security.

Physical Security, a Key factor to Security

Physical security means protecting information, people, and facilities from physical threats such as other people, objects, and vehicles through physical security control measures. This includes all physical threats such as controlling access for un/authorized individuals, protecting facilities from natural disasters, and theft protection.

Traditionally, security has been divided into physical security and information security with separate paths of development. In the past, physical security was not considered as an important issue, as the emphasis was mostly on informational security. These days, however, more people understand that the stability of informational security cannot be guaranteed when physical security is compromised.


The personal data breach case at a card company in Korea, year 2014, showed us that an insider and a worker at an affiliate company may also threaten our security even when a security system is working properly.

Even if security on the software level is perfect, information may be transferred easily if physical security isn’t guaranteed. This means other types of security can work only when the physical security has been properly established.

Emergence of Convergence Security

Ensuring either physical security or information security cannot always achieve security objectives like protecting confidential industrial information. Since the IT security trend is changing from ‘protecting information during telecommunication’ to ‘securing individuals as well as the society’, the concept of data security is also going beyond securing computers and networks toward the entire society.

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Technologies for knowledge information security

As a result, the security industry is expanding from a simple information security to convergence security with a stronger emphasis on the physical security. For effective and efficient security, both physical security and information security are necessary, and this is how convergence security emerged.

The term ‘Convergence security’ comes from Securing Knowledge Korea 2013 published by the Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy (currently called the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy) in 2008, which redefined the existing information security industry to the knowledge information security industry. The term emerged from the process by which the knowledge information security industry was subdivided into information, physical, and convergence security. The Ministry of Knowledge Economy defined the ‘Convergence security’ as ‘Security products and services created by merging the physical and information security or combining security technology with other non-IT technologies.’

Physical Security Turning into an Integrated Control Model

The security needs from corporations are broadening from simple theft prevention to anti-data breach measures. The objects categorized to be secured have also widened to include privacy, health information, environment, and energy. Possible threats are becoming more complex as a result with combined risks of physical threats such as invasion, theft, terror as well as data security threats like data breaches, falsification, and hacking. Besides, environmental security and energy stability have also become the new types of security threats.

Physical security networks and IT infrastructures have been running as separate networks so far. Since video monitoring systems and access control systems started using the TCP/IP open network, however, IT is being applied to the realm of physical security more often.

The new trend in security not only aims to manage various types of physical security systems such as access control, parking control, CCTV monitoring, and disaster control at once, but also converge the physical and information security to complement each other. In other words, the new physical security trend can be summed up as a change toward an integrated control system.

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Example of convergence security framework based on physical security and integrated security control systems (source: LG CNS)

Security systems are expected to be developed which are able to respond to more complex threats. It will be able to predict multidirectional threats while accurately detecting related signs of possible risks. Such goals can be achieved by bringing together the monitoring data on the physical and information security control, disaster/environmental accident prevention, and wire/wireless communication records as well as analyzing their correlations, patterns, and abnormalities.

The data breach prediction methodology using integrated log management system is as follows.

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Convergence security system

The following table shows the scenario on how to respond to a data breach

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Response scenario to a confidential information breach case

The scenario aims to have the security system search for the informant with security staff at the exit and to locate the informant before he/she flees. This IT security system is one example of converging the physical security system for searching and an IT security system.

Because this system focuses its resources to the objects with higher risks, the efficiency of its search is much higher. It is also considered to be a great example of security management since it responds to threats immediately with active measures through real-time data processing, unlike other systems that simply trace the case after the fact.

As we saw today, all security technologies including physical security tactics are being developed as we speak, while new security solutions are popping up continuously. As Bruce Schneier once pointed out, however, a completely secure system cannot exist, because the technologies for invasion and hacking will always evolve along with security technologies.

The field of security covers a wide part of our lives and is going through constant changes. This is why continued interest and investment in security as well as a deep understanding of appropriate responsive measures is required for companies and organizations. Security will keep progressing as it always has.

Written by Wonjip Kim, security advisor at LG CNS Security Consulting Team

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