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4Ai Hangs Shingle for Business-IT Security Convergence


4A International (4Ai), a provider of physical and IT security convergence solutions, launched its flagship services yesterday. The company seeks to create awareness and solutions for one of the top business issues of 2005: The lack of cohesive physical and logical security strategies as one of the largest pitfalls for operational efficiency and effectiveness.

Founded by former Forrester analyst Steve Hunt, 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.

"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," said Hunt, the company's CEO. "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," he said.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

For more information visit http://www.4ai.com/.

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