Learn How Physical Security Can Ensure Cyber Security

C’est Montreal, home of maple syrup, poutine, Tim Hortons coffee…and IoT Influencers! On June 12th, Steve Yung, CEO of V5 Systems, spoke as a featured panelist at the 2019 McRock IIoT Symposium, hosted in Quebec, Canada, on the topic of Cyber & Physical Security. The Symposium, an annual exploration of all trends in the Industrial Internet of Things hosted by McRock Capital, cements Montreal’s budding reputation as a technology hub and brought together IoT players from around the world.

Yung discussed the growing nexus of the cyber and physical worlds with fellow experts in the field such as Neal Kohl, Director of IoT Strategy at Dell Technologies, a V5 Systems partner. As crime grows more complex, there is a burgeoning realization amongst experts that strong cyber security cannot exist absent of physical security, and the bridge between is the Industrial IoT. 


Physical Security Is The First Line of Defense for Cyber Security

Without physical security —  perimeter video surveillance for example — sensitive data can be physically removed.  One consultant demonstrated that just by jumping on an elevator next to an employee with an access card, an off-the-shelf device could skim card passwords, even customer data, during a quick ride up; the takeaway is that the unauthorized person should not have been riding the elevator in the first place. With the physical access that such cards can provide, hackers can do extensive damage: They can install ransomware or a backdoor to access systems with hardly a trace. The city of Baltimore is still reeling from a cyber intrusion that resulted from a physical theft, leaving the municipal government crippled for over a month and costing nearly $18 million.

At the panel, Yung described how V5 Systems is innovating physical security with a solution that combines edge computing, power, communications and security sensors, creating the world’s first outdoor edge computing platform. According to Yung, cyber security focuses on protecting data forensically, but physical security is the first-line of a proactive defense that can save lives and data.

In the video surveillance space, V5 Systems technology is collecting and analyzing analytics on the edge, including object detection, recognition and tracking, to send real-time physical security alerts. In the gunshot detection space, V5 Systems is using acoustic sensors on edge computing devices to detect, localize and report gunfire in real-time; this has critical applications for soft targets such as schools and urban centers.


Autonomy is Key

Experts say it’s especially critical for stakeholders to bolster security in a marketplace where systems communicate extensively. Autonomy is key. Whether it is continuous software updates that do not rely on in-house expertise or the siloed nature of autonomous physical security, that’s the name of the game. Physical security that operates independently of the network infrastructure that servers run on is critical in the event of a breach. Even if IT infrastructure is compromised, physical security systems will not be. To learn more about this topic, please visit this blog.

Yung noted that edge computing combined with onboard solar/battery power and communications allow V5 Systems to provide this autonomous functionality, as solutions can be off-grid and self-contained. With 22 million hours operating in the outdoors, V5 Systems technology continues to lead  in outdoor edge computing, he contended. That fact has made the company incredibly relevant to the who’s who of the IoT world, many of whom, like Dell, were in attendance.

While the Physical Cyber Security interface was a hot topic, the Symposium showcased the incredible range and breadth of the IoT, with talks dedicated to autonomous vehicles, remote agriculture and even the law. If there was one key message of the 2019 summit, it’s that the IoT is as tangible and eagerly anticipated as Canadian bacon.  

To learn more about this event, please visit: 2019 Symposium Agenda


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