The recent rise of hybrid workplaces—a convergence of remote work and “in-office” work—has brought more complexities across cybersecurity and physical security. 

Dimensional Research found that 97% of employees want changes made so they feel safer at work, while 94% of companies believe technology would benefit them by providing a safer work environment. 

In your quest to enable a trusted environment, having comprehensive, interconnected technologies and tools can allow you to securely create valuable experiences for employees and customers.

The value of technology convergence 

The early 2000s were a time when telephones, cameras, camcorders, and music devices existed separately.

Then along came smartphones, which conveniently bridged together the functionality of all these things into one platform. The introduction of an ecosystem of third-party app developers extended the smartphone’s utility far beyond its original capabilities. 

IT security tools such as next-generation firewalls prevent cyber attacks. Physical security devices such as cameras protect people, buildings, and assets. As video, data, information, productivity applications, and most business operations move to the cloud, it will become increasingly important to prioritize physical and cybersecurity convergence.

When cybersecurity and physical security collide 

Consider the domino effect when cybersecurity and physical worlds collide: 

  • Attackers exploit code to gain control of transmitters that operate manufacturing machinery, putting assets and lives at risk
  • Hackers shut down a building’s cloud video cameras, letting a heist go undetected and unrecorded
  • Ransomware on a hospital network causes a shut-down of the IT system, delaying digital processes like accessing patient data and conducting scans
A Match Made in Heaven: Physical and Cybersecurity

Beyond higher risk, cybersecurity and physical security are typically maintained in separate systems by IT and physical security teams, making it harder to tackle threats head-on. 

Many security technologies, one platform 

As with the launch of smartphones, our cloud-first Meraki platform pulls IT and IoT technologies into one intuitive dashboard. It features open APIs and a broad ecosystem of apps so you can rapidly address essential security use cases and provide insightful analytics. 

Gain peace of mind from tools that work in harmony. For example, device communication and video is encrypted by default and firmware is updated automatically from the cloud. 

As James Segil, President of Openpath, noted at the 2021 Meraki Network user conference, “IT has more comfort in the cloud … helping eliminate legacy physical security technologies.”

Security for every business need 

So what does convergence look like in practice? Here’s an example of a safe environment through a day in the life of Sam, an IT manager at a hospital. 

  • 8:00 am: Sam checks the Meraki platform dashboard at home for security anomalies from the MX security and SD-WAN devices  
  • 8:30 am: Sam arrives at the hospital parking lot, where the MV smart cameras detect vehicles and people in order to identify intruders 
  • 10:00 am: In waiting rooms, the MV integration with Everyangle lets them verify face mask compliance 
  • 1:00 pm: Sam gets a dashboard alert that a fridge stocking vaccines has dipped below 0°C; the MT temperature probe sensor triggered a real-time snapshot from the MV camera showing the door ajar 
  • 5:00 pm: Sam wraps up by aggregating daily people count and people’s journeys inside the hospital via the V-App integration to optimize staffing and wayfinding 

These are just some of the ways Meraki can help create a safe environment experience to protect what matters to your business.

For more details, visit the Meraki workplace safety homepage.