New Verizon IT Consulting Services Target Gaps in Physical Security, a Factor in Data Breaches

Although physical security is integral to IT security, it is often an afterthought, which leaves an organization vulnerable to security breaches.  Verizon Business is addressing this shortcoming by offering new IT security consulting services that proactively integrate physical security with information security and compliance programs.  

Verizon Physical Security Services combine a physical security assessment and penetration test, security awareness training, a social engineering experiment, and an evaluation of relevant logical security technologies such as smart cards and biometric scanners to evaluate and strengthen an organization's overall security posture. 

"Organizations know that a proactive approach to security is key to protecting critical assets, but too often they overlook physical security considerations, such requiring access cards to enter a facility, making this one of the weakest links in the security chain," said Dr. Peter Tippett, vice president of technology and innovation at Verizon Business. "Our research shows that simple security measures, done well, can make a big difference to an organization's ability to prevent data breaches. These new services help companies address both their information and physical security requirements in a holistic manner, helping to more effectively protect the organization - and its own customers - from security breaches."

Data from the 2009 Verizon Business Data Breach Investigations Report demonstrate the importance of physical security for data protection.  For example, the report showed that only 43 percent of organizations had properly restricted physical access to confidential cardholder data according to PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) requirements. In other words, 57 percent of organizations had left cardholder data open and exploitable via a physical breach.

According to research project DataLossDB, many data loss events could have been prevented with better physical security. 

New Verizon Consulting Services Integrate Physical and Information Security

Verizon Physical Security Services are designed to help safeguard the entire IT stack --that is, the physical, network, application, data and end-user layers -- by addressing three major areas of weakness:

  • Access -- This includes visitor badge issuance and adherence, door access controls, and lock configurations and detection/monitoring mechanisms. 
  • Safety -- Addresses placement and status of alarm systems, material handling at the site and visible, functioning fire alarms.
  • Environment -- An evaluation is made of the company's location, including the neighborhood and surrounding businesses, to determine the risk of criminal activity or collateral damage.

All evaluations cover the organization's entire operations, including corporate offices, data centers and warehouses as well as document storage and disposal.

Additionally, Verizon Physical Security Services help to maintain compliance with regulations that include specific physical security procedures, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, PCI-DSS and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. 

Verizon Security Meets the Demanding Needs of Today's Businesses

Verizon Business offers a rich portfolio of security solutions, including threat and vulnerability services; governance, risk and compliance solutions; data loss and prevention solutions; and identity management solutions.  The solutions are delivered by the company's more than 1,200 security professionals around the globe.  More information is available by visiting http://www.verizonbusiness.com/products/security.  The company also provides additional security insight and analysis via the Verizon Security Blog.

About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with one of the world's most connected IP networks to deliver award-winning communications, IT, information security and network solutions.  We securely connect today's extended enterprises of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees - enabling them to increase productivity and efficiency and help preserve the environment.  Many of the world's largest businesses and governments - including 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousands of government agencies and educational institutions - rely on our professional and managed services and network technologies to accelerate their business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.