Security Convergence: Building an evidence-based roadmap.

  • Emma Boakes

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Security convergence involves the integration of security resources within an organisation, requiring different security disciplines to work more closely together. Convergence has been advocated as a way of helping organisa- tions understand and mitigate risks that cross the boundary between cyber security and physical security, in particular, vulnerabilities that are intro- duced with the introduction of cyber-physical systems. There are few em- pirical studies that explore converged security, however, and no evidence- based guidance to help organisations make an informed decision about how to converge their security functions. Consequently, organisations may not be creating the holistic security they anticipate.
This research starts to build the evidence-base for converged security by in- vestigating why organisations adopt convergence and how they implement it. The research establishes a rich understanding of convergence in practice by using mixed qualitative methods to explore the real-world experiences of senior security practitioners who have worked in converged security func- tions. The research employs semi-structured interviews, and also methods less used in security management research, specifically the Delphi method and epistolary interviews.
The practical output from the findings of this research is an evidence-based roadmap to help organisations navigate the decisions they need to make when adopting convergence. The roadmap, like the rest of the thesis, is struc- tured around an accepted methodology for establishing an evidence-based approach from practice (Evidence-Based Practice), and it highlights the dif- ferent sources of evidence that will help organisations make informed deci- sions. The roadmap is a representation of the information collected through empirical research from security practitioners with experience of convergence. The roadmap has been evaluated by security practitioners with experience of convergence and those in the early stages of its adoption. They considered the roadmap an accurate reflection of the decisions that organisations need to make, and a useful tool to facilitate the adoption of convergence.
Date of Award10 Feb 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorDebi Mackenzie Ashenden (Supervisor) & Emma Barrett (Supervisor)

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