How to ensure your IT and security teams stay aligned amid digital transformation

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IT security digital transformationEven for sensitive industries, the movement to cloud-based technologies is generally accepted as a cost-effective and efficient infrastructure strategy and immediate priority.

The migration to more agile products are occuring in nearly every department and physical security is no exception. New technologies make it possible for video surveillance data to shift from on-premise to the cloud, and provide additional insights to support larger digital transformation goals.

In order to succeed, however, CIOs will need to unify the previously disparate physical security and IT teams to support a common business goal.

Speed vs. protection: Why IT and security teams work independently

The digitization of video surveillance presents many opportunities for physical security and IT teams to collaborate to achieve stronger business security, but security and IT teams don’t always see eye to eye on how to do so.

Physical security teams are responsible for monitoring video feeds of facilities and investigating notifications for security breaches and other incidents. While they have some technical knowledge, they prefer to keep video technology familiar so they can access what they need quickly without having to first learn a new system.

The rapid adoption of new, unfamiliar technology can leave companies vulnerable during the transition, and security teams can feel like they are in the dark as they wait for new systems to be implemented. With the risk of surveillance feeds going down during a technology migration, it’s no wonder that these security experts are nervous about a major shift to cloud and IoT solutions.

On the other end of the spectrum, IT teams regularly assess rapidly evolving project requirements and are used to supporting business initiatives with new networks, servers and cloud technology. But managing additional video surveillance tools eats up IT bandwidth, and keeps technology teams from pursuing work such as IoT integration and the implementation of machine learning technology. Because the IT team is tasked with maintaining on-premise servers, they are responsible for designing and executing network upgrades as dictated by the security team’s needs.

As companies are recognizing the benefits of the cloud, both security and IT will need to work together to guarantee a secure cloud migration while also ensuring that physical security remains intact.

Bridging the gap: How to inspire productive cooperation from teams with individual agendas

Both IT and security professionals have their company’s best interests in mind, but it can be difficult to reconcile two teams working at conflicting speeds and competing priorities. IT teams are seeking efficiency and lower total cost of ownership for technologies while security teams prioritize safety and asset protection.

As networks grow increasingly porous, however, IT and security professionals will need to compromise on their independent priorities to support a resilient security strategy for businesses. For CIOs, this represents an opportunity to identify new efficiencies and technology insights that will support the needs of both the IT and security teams.

In order to nurture a successful relationship, teams should consider the following tips to get security and IT on the same page:

Determine a joint vision and strategy: When technology and security decisions are made in a vacuum, it can leave some teams feeling left in the dark about important upgrades related to their daily responsibilities. This can lead to the purchase of products that meet a security team’s expectations, for example, but are too complex and cumbersome for IT teams to manage. To avoid confusion, security professionals can share what specific requirements they need to perform their responsibilities, and IT teams can offer their recommendations based on the security team’s needs as well as their own. In brainstorming new product investments together, IT and security can identify which products satisfy both teams’ expectations and even eliminate extraneous tools that may go unused.

Understand both sides of the equation: Each team is held to a unique set of standards based on their daily responsibilities. IT, for example, is evaluated on their ability to manage business servers and networks while the security team is tasked with administering and investing security protocols. But the IT department should also understand why a security team asks for the addition certain countermeasures and security teams should know why IT tries to deploy new technologies immediately. Mitigating these differences can bridge disparate teams and help IT and security identify which metrics will drive best behaviors for integrating and securing new networks and servers.

Communicate for cohesion: Too many voices in the room can stall progress, so security and IT professionals should appoint a team leader to serve as the liaison to discuss trends and issues on a day-to-day basis. This individual should bridge communications between both groups and provide additional insight into each other’s goals and objectives. Maintaining transparent dialogue between security and IT teams is crucial and ensures no team member is left out of important projects. Regular check-ins at the start of each week help keep both teams on the same page without infringing upon regular business operations.

It’s important for technology leaders to recognize both security and IT departments as part of a larger team that must work together in order to safely deploy the tools needed for agile business operations. With business operations top of mind, both security and IT teams can rally together to develop an integrated team approach to business security.

Disrupting each team’s usual responsibilities will take them out of their comfort zones, but the adoption of cloud technology and other services can help to ease the convergence of physical security and IT. As the number of cyberattacks continues to rise each day and corporate assets are at stake, businesses will need to take the necessary steps to encourage inter-team cooperation before it’s too late.