4A International Cautions Against Lack of Cohesive Physical and IT Security Strategies as Critical Pitfall for Business Efficiency and Effectiveness in 2005

Las Vegas, NV — ISC West 2005 – April 5, 2005 — 4A International (4Ai), the worldwide leader in physical and IT security convergence solutions, launched its flagship services today at the ISC West 2005 conference. Comprised of over 20 thought leaders from analyst, end user, consultant and manufacturing organizations at the forefront of security, the 4Ai team has united to create awareness and solutions for one of the top business issues in 2005: the lack of cohesive physical and logical security strategies as one of the largest pitfalls for operational efficiency and effectiveness. Founded by Steve Hunt, an international authority on the topic, 4Ai is the first security convergence company to bridge the two diverse markets through technology partnerships, standards development, mergers and acquisitions, benchmarks and guidance for end user organizations and security manufacturers.

The convergence market is expected to grow rapidly during the next five years as enterprise risk management points more companies to greater security efficiencies and effectiveness, spending over $1 billion in the United States and Europe in 2005 alone (Forrester, January 11, 2005, Trends 2005: “Security Convergence Gets Real: A Market Niche Matures”).

“A coherent strategy that aligns IT and physical security with business goals and needs can generate substantial cost savings and other business benefits – if handled well,” added Steve Hunt, CEO, 4A International. “The end game is not about security, it’s about operational efficiency and risk management. Therefore the approaches that worked for the last few decades will be less and less effective. Our vision is to bridge this gap by delivering a convergence blueprint for building business value.”

In a first step towards this blueprint, 4Ai has identified the top three most common mistakes in today’s security convergence strategies:

1. Wasting money: IT and Physical Security should not be viewed as two redundant budgets. Companies who want to create operational efficiency and demonstrate compliance with regulations, as well as make security “cheaper and better,” need to leverage their investment in physical security so that it actually helps their IT security profile and vice versa, thus using the two budgets more effectively.

2. Proprietary approaches: Physical security cannot be proprietary if it is going to be successfully integrated with traditional IT platforms. The physical security industry is realizing that the state of its hardware and software is not standards-based and that it needs to speak the same language as the IT networks it will be running on for both the business and home. Unfortunately, none of this equipment was designed for open systems and it can’t all be upgraded. A form of “intervention” is required to facilitate open standards between the vendors, manufacturers and IT groups.

3. Turf wars and culture clashes: Today’s physical and IT security teams work in silos. This phenomenon leads to redundancy of efforts, lost productivity, and, ultimately, a hit on the company’s bottom line. Convergence requires working together on specific projects and leveraging each other’s skill sets. New best practices, benchmarks, partnerships, technologies and portfolios are needed to help the security industry work better with itself.

Industry Support for 4Ai
Michael P. Butler, Deputy Director, Smart Card Programs and Operations, Defense Manpower Data Center, US Department of Defense

“There is not much innovation in IT or physical security that doesn’t include facets of the other. Convergence is the next obvious place for manufacturers to innovate for the benefit of end-users. This convergence will impact business productivity in both intended and unintended ways by placing powerful credential platforms in user’s pockets that may be used for a wide range of applications.”

Richard A. Clarke, Former Counter-Terrorism Advisor to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks
“The best way to protect our critical infrastructure is to do security efficiently and effectively. The next obvious step toward this goal is the convergence of physical and IT security based on open standards, enabling both government agencies and private industry to leverage each other’s strengths. Organizations like 4Ai are critical in making this a reality.”

About 4A International
4A International (4Ai) is the first security convergence company. 4Ai’s teams of world experts in physical and IT security are uniquely qualified to generate value for manufacturers and customers by bridging the two worlds of physical and IT security. Founded in 2005, 4Ai is privately held and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. For more information visit http://www.4ai.com/.

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