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Identify and discuss three essential elements of convergence within the realm of public and private sector security. Formulate a hypothesis as to the effectiveness and extent of convergence efforts over the next decade. Please note you must present a hypothesis and discuss it – not merely state a hypothesis alone.

Convergence is the combination of physical and information Technology (IT) systems, processes and technological use. Convergence is present in almost all organizations, including our military, private and public businesses, and computing environments. The concept of convergence is the act of combining two or more environments or industries to form a new (business and IT). Often, the concept of convergence will overlap. For example, a security department will ensure all physical computing hardware are physically secured through the use of physical security measures. Conversely, an IT professional will ensure passwords are updated and secured. When we combined the goals of each industry, we are converging.

In today’s expanding security industry, there appears to be a movement for combining the security and IT industries. Each industry is specific and different in their own respect. However, after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, both industries have generated a common goal. For example, ensuring business operations are maintained and secured. As a result, of this new movement, we are beginning to see security professionals seeking networking and computing security certifications.

When we think of convergence, please note, three common elements exist; the use of technology (physical and virtual), integration, and globalization. While physical security has been in existence since the caveman years where boulders were used to secure caves, the industry grew exponentially since the 2001, terrorist attacks. In the six years after the attacks, the industry advanced over 100 years. Further, the technology industry has grown exponentially, resulting an overlap of physical and technological security measures. As our cyber infrastructure advances at an unanticipated, security measures were not sufficiently addressed. As a result, we

Our adversaries continue to attack or information systems. Further, computer-related intrusions and cyber attacks are more prevalent as organizations become more and more dependent on information systems. In addition, the threat is further advance as hacktivists become sophisticated and persistent.

The goal of convergence encompasses people, assets and technology to work in a holistic manner. While the technological and security industry have co-existed independently of each other, the two industries have operated without harmony.

As businesses have become more and more dependent on technology, the concept of convergence has gain popularity in both industries (physical security and IT). The increase in support is primarily based on the need for corporate assets which are increasingly becoming information based. As a result, our three professional security organization have aligned their support to promote the concept of convergence.

The three leading security organizations are:

A) American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) – Founded in 1955, the association is the world’s largest membership organization for security management professionals.

B) Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) – Founded in 1984, the association is a not-for profit international professional organization for information security practitioners and professional.

C) Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA) – Founded in 1946, the organization is an international non-for-profit organization. The primary goal is to provide forums for military, government and industrial communities to collaborate on technological concerns.

College students have the opportunity to join the ASIS organization for a nominal fee. It is a great networking organization providing many opportunities for security professionals.

In conclusion, driving the security industry is the concept of convergence (physical and technical). Blending physical and IT security is a harmonious manner is very important to the overall goal of convergence. The term Convergence is broad and encompasses divergent or even competing entities and/or disciplines. For example, the security department of an organization and the Information Network departments. While each department is somewhat mature and widespread, collaboration between the cyber and physical security disciplines is lacking in organizations. Further, cyber-physical convergence, though widespread, can be an ambiguous process. Do note the concept of convergence is not a seamless or perfect process, nor is it one that follows a set template. The over-reaching goal of convergence is to work holistically to meet the organization’s mission.

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