On the Front Lines of Security: Juliette Kayyem, Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Armored Things' Advisor Juliette Kayyem shares her inside take on the state of security in the United States. In government, academia, journalism, and the private sector, Kayyem has served as a national leader in America's homeland security efforts.

Armored Things: In what ways do you expect the Internet of Things (IoT) to transform physical security in the coming years?

Juliette Kayyem: We are at a pivotal moment in physical security, where IoT is a bridge to a new way of thinking. Traditionally, practitioners have discussed the chain of command, where decisions get made and communicated from a position of authority. Today, we are increasingly talking about a "Unity of Effort" in Homeland Security. The most successful security designs focus on unity of effort, which moves multiple organizations work together for common objectives, to align vision and reduce duplication of effort; IoT can help do that.

AT: Is there a risk that relying on IoT will create new security risks, even as it reduces others?

JK: The danger is that the system used to enhance safety and security can now be abused by those who can access the system. You have to protect the network that bridges the gap, it's important that a security apparatus cannot be vulnerable. It must have mechanisms, redundancies, and the capacity to ensure that it doesn't fail.

AT: Is there an experience in your past where having technology that worked together with physical security personnel could have helped you make faster or better decisions?

JK: Oh God, yes! For 6 days during the BP spill, we were not aware of the magnitude of the incident. To the extent that technology can enhance situational awareness, we could have saved time and improved our response.

AT: Do you have any advice for those trying to make their IT and physical security teams work together?

JK: There has to be more focus on training, especially for traditional first responders. New technology often feels like rocket science because it is "disruptive," which a first responder does not want. Without training, just buying new technology does not mean it will be utilized. There has to be comfort, it has to be user-friendly, and it has to make sense in terms of the needs of first responders. Technology should service the people who risk their lives every day.

AT: Do you have any other comments on the role technology plays in physical security?

JK: Don-t view technology as a solution but as a tool. The issue we still need address is governance. If there is an incident in a stadium, personnel should be familiar and comfortable with their security tools and technologies. When we figure out how to make the technology more accessible it begins to fix gaps. I have confidence in the technology and companies like Armored Things to help fix the gaps in physical security.