What will be the biggest surprise for security in 2018?
The new year presents new opportunities for the physical security marketplace. In many ways, 2018 will undoubtedly see further development of trends we saw in 2017. In fact, some of the trends determining the future of the physical security industry have been in place for many years. However, not every event in 2018 can be foreseen or easily predicted. To be sure, it is sometimes the surprises that keep life interesting! We asked this week Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the security market’s biggest surprise in 2018?
The biggest surprise in 2018 will be the rapid adoption of new technologies in the physical security industry. In a market that has been slow to adopt change, the growth in 2017 and introduction of new companies and product releases gave a preview to the openness of the market to accept change. We will begin to see cloud services, mobile, and IP-based technologies grow but even more rapidly with more acceptance than this industry has seen in the past. No longer will customers have to wait 10 years for the market to migrate to IP like the video surveillance market. Consumers are ready for change to platforms that are simpler, more user friendly and easier on the pocket book.
Integration has been a buzzword in the industry for a long time, but it is well known that integrations between disparate vendors can be challenging. With artificial intelligence (AI) making its grand entry into the physical security space, we will see integrations manifest in a different way. An AI engine can now serve as a bridge between disparate products where the analysis and correlation are stitched together before being presented to the operator via their preferred graphical interface. Historically, vendors may have been hesitant to work together due to competing products or interest in protecting their intellectual property. These same vendors, however, are highly interested in leveraging artificial intelligence engines, such as IBM Watson, to provide value to their own platforms. It is this motivation that will facilitate a migration towards AI and an ultimate, natural collaboration among multiple vendor applications.
It will be interesting in 2018 to see what other companies may merge or be acquired and how that will affect the market. I think we will see more adoption of mobile credential solutions using Bluetooth technology and dual authentication. The release of new products that offer a more truly integrated solution will make the industry more robust as well.
The most prominent surprise in the security market for 2018 will be increased collaboration between departments where multiple stakeholders must come together to make decisions for the best course of action in responding to threats. Unfortunately, with some of the recent incidents, it's becoming more and more critical for organisations to prepare for the absolute worst when planning their security posture and systems, which means that best practices, training, and other information must be put in place before decisions can be made. As more institutions prepare for a variety of threats at their organisation, I believe we’ll see a higher adoption of tools that help increase collaboration and stakeholder engagement to ensure security and safety for all involved.
Cybersecurity is no doubt a hot topic, but some would argue that people are still in denial that there is a direct impact to the security industry. I think the biggest surprise for next year will be that security industry manufacturers and integrators will indeed accept that cybersecurity is no longer someone else’s problem. The security industry will shift to be part of the front line instead of just reacting to cyber issues.
Short of getting a crystal ball out, it is very difficult to predict exactly what will be the biggest surprise in the security market! However, it’s always fun to speculate. With the physical security market continuing to grow and evolve, especially in terms of integrated technology and the rise of The Internet of Things, there will undoubtedly be new and exciting mergers and acquisitions in the cards. The surprise may come from exactly who is involved. Will it be key existing players or new companies joining the market? Currently the physical security market is rather fragmented. Will we see the start of wholesale consolidation? Will a key player pull together an unbeatable portfolio of niche products? Will this be a good thing for our industry? Only time will tell.
Cybersecurity is top-of-mind for many business executives who fear the consequences to their brands, reputations, and bottom lines, but their angst will extend to physical security weaknesses in 2018. The surprise for organisations is that the very security systems meant to protect people and property are also under threat. Hackers are increasingly using IP cameras and other endpoints to gain access to corporate networks. The growth in the number of endpoints connected to networks increases the vulnerabilities, security incidents, and difficulties of securing them. Even isolated “camera only” networks can have unintended connections that bridge to the main corporate network. While our industry has been slow to react to these threats, executives will become more aware of the security flaws of video system endpoints in 2018. They will put more pressure on security professionals to mitigate this threat and install endpoints with cybersecurity in mind.
In 2018, improved guest management systems will likely be a key implementation to improve facilities security practices. Currently, visitors present a unique challenge of the unknown for security in buildings, new and existing, across business offices, healthcare, education and other facilities with an influx of people. For example, large office buildings typically have a security checkpoint in the lobby with a visitor badge system set up to gather guests’ information prior to allowing them entry. However, this check-in system is not the most effective from a security standpoint. The time security personnel spend creating a visitor badge is time that would be more efficiently spent monitoring the facility or tending to a potential threat. Also, once the check-in process is over, there is no way to truly monitor guest activity. This is a security inefficiency most buildings experience and I envision this changing in the New Year.
In the last couple of years, the security industry has shifted its attitude toward the adoption of more innovative technologies to meet the needs of end users. From higher definition cameras to security robotics, it is clear the industry is adapting to end user needs for a more efficient and high-tech security system. I believe the biggest surprise in 2018 will be the rate at which end users adopt security solutions powered by artificial intelligence. We’ve come a long way from the days of recording endless amounts of video content and relying exclusively on human guards for perimeter detection, and I think that will only grow in the year to come.
As different vertical markets continue to grow and develop in 2018, the biggest surprise will come from the rapidly expanding cannabis market in states such as California, Colorado, Massachusetts and others where marijuana has been legalised. To date, there are 29 states where medical marijuana is legal and eight states where recreational marijuana is also legal. In this quickly developing industry, there is significant and growing demand for security products and services. The entire supply chain in the cannabis market requires comprehensive security at each step, from growing to processing, to transporting, to selling. Given the nature of the business and the fact that most transactions are cash-based, the need for security technology is high. Video surveillance in particular will need to be deployed through the supply chain to defend against threats such as theft and burglary. Due to the hazardous manufacturing process, specialty products are required for those facilities.
Our Expert Panelists enumerate several surprise developments they expect in 2018, from a faster rate of technology adoption to greater impact from artificial intelligence (AI) to more mergers and acquisitions (M&As). A couple of panelists point to better cybersecurity as a surprise, and one panelist sees a new market coming on strong. Whatever the case, we at SourceSecurity.com look forward to reporting on new developments – surprise or otherwise – as the security marketplace continues to evolve in 2018. We join the Expert Panel Roundtable in wishing all our readers a happy and prosperous new year.