Organizational perspectives on converged security operations


Information Systems and Security

Document Type


Publication Date



Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the current practices in security convergence among and between corporate security and cybersecurity processes in commercial enterprises. Design/methodology/approach: This paper is the first phase in a planned multiphase project to better understand current practices in security optimization efforts being implemented by commercial organizations exploring means and methods to operate securely while reducing operating costs. The research questions being examined are: What are the general levels of interest in cybersecurity and corporate security convergence? How well do the perspectives on convergence align between organizations? To what extent are organizations pursuing convergence? and How are organizations achieving the anticipated outcomes from convergence? Findings: In organizations, the evolution to a more optimized security structure, either merged or partnered, was traditionally due to unplanned or unforeseen events; e.g. a spin-off/acquisition, new security leadership or a negative security incident was the initiator. This is in contrast to a proactive management decision or formal plan to change or enhance the security structure for reasons that include reducing costs of operations and/or improving outcomes to reduce operational risks. The dominant exception was in response to regulatory requirements. Preliminary findings suggest that outcomes from converged organizations are not necessarily more optimized in situations that are organizationally merged under a single leader. Optimization may ultimately depend on the strength of relationships and openness to collaboration between management, cybersecurity and corporate security personnel. Research limitations/implications: This report and the number of respondents to its survey do not support generalizable findings. There are too few in each category to make reliable predictions and in analysis, there was an insufficient quantity of responses in most categories to allow supportable conclusions to be drawn. Practical implications: Practitioners may find useful contextual clues to their needs for convergence or in response to directives for convergence from this report on what is found in some other organizations. Social implications: Improved effectiveness and/or reduced costs for organizational cybersecurity would be a useful social outcome as organizations become more efficient in the face of increasing levels of cyber security threats. Originality/value: Convergence as a concept has been around for some time now in both the practice and research communities. It was initially promoted formally by ASIS International and ISACA in 2005. Yet there is no universally agreed-upon definition for the term or the practices undertaken to achieve it. In addition, the business drivers and practices undertaken to achieve it are still not fully understood. If convergence or optimization of converged operations offers a superior operational construct compared to other structures, it is incumbent to discover if there are measurable benefits. This research hopes to define the concept of security collaboration optimization more fully. The eventual goal is to develop and promote a tool useful for organizations to measure where they are on such a continuum.

Journal Title

Information and Computer Security

Journal ISSN


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)