What caused the most disruption in 2018 in the physical security space?
8 Jan 2019
In many regards, 2018 was a turbulent year for the physical security marketplace, driven by evolving technologies and changing customer needs, among other factors. Year-end is a great time to reflect, so we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What caused the most disruption in the physical security marketplace in 2018?
The industry is in the midst of a dynamic technology revolution, and we are seeing increased use of security solutions that leverage machine-based learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics. This past year, the market embraced these emerging technologies, with a myriad of solutions now being embedded with these capabilities, including IP cameras, access control systems, security robots, and drones. The security industry is more technology- and network-centric than ever before. Because of this, we will continue to see the development and widespread adoption of security solutions and systems that harness the power of technology to provide active, data-rich information to corporate security directors.
Cybersecurity and hacking continued to make headlines. And customers justifiably asked more questions when it came to the resilience of their surveillance systems. Penetration testing, encryption technologies, the rapid issue of firmware updates and dispelling fears of “back doors” became the norm. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) caused concern and indeed some pain. Many companies were ill-prepared when it came to video retention, requests for information and the position and view of many cameras. The availability of affordable and effective privacy masking technologies remains a challenge with many end users resorting to expensive outsourcing. The Internet of Things (IoT) certainly came into its own with affordable and simple-to-use systems implemented to improve home security. At the same time, the industry became awash with new and exciting artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies that promise to be a key driver of value and a disruptive force in years to come.
Driven by video system cybersecurity concerns, the passing of the National Defense Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA) shook the North American market pretty quickly with the named vendors re-trenching and related OEM vendors dropping relationships and seeking new sources for cameras, including banned camera Systems on Chip components. Customer and security integrator buying habits shifted a little but will increasingly impact North America as well other NATO-allied countries. What we haven’t seen yet is the significant trickle-down effect that will impact state and local entities, particularly those relying on matching government funds (subject to NDAA) as well as enterprises that will react in order to protect multiple stakeholders’ concerns. All one has to do is look at what happened to named China telecom infrastructure vendors’ sales after the 2012 cybersecurity-driven ban to understand what will happen this time with NDAA 2019.
When looking back on 2018, two of the most discussed topics within the security marketplace were artificial intelligence (AI) applications and cybersecurity. The adoption of AI and deep learning in video surveillance has enabled solutions to provide more insights and perspective than ever before, evolve beyond security usage, address customer pain points and deliver a higher ROI. The emergence of AI video applications has also triggered a greater need for storage devices. In 2018, we have also seen many video solution manufacturers, large and small, engage with experts in the field to incorporate enhanced cybersecurity features into their products to satisfy new legislative requirements. Demand has shifted for not only securing data in motion and transit, but also securing data at rest. For these reasons, surveillance optimised drives and self-encrypting drives garnered a lot of attention in 2018 as critical components of the overall video surveillance solution.
We saw an abundance of innovative technologies impact the industry in 2018, but what really caused the most disruption was video event management, which enables enterprise organisations to efficiently streamline all of the pieces that make up their security infrastructures. The gathering and analysis of data has never been more essential than in today’s risk landscape, but as each sensor within a solution generates an overwhelming amount of information, security leaders must be able to identify what is most important at any given time. Event management ties every critical incident into one common interface, providing video verification for immediate and informed decision-making. This technology allowed organisations to achieve advanced levels of safety and protection this year, but it also can be applied to improving operational effectiveness, such as with building automation or compliance — making it a truly valuable and disruptive solution for security and business leaders in 2018 and beyond.
One of the areas causing the most disruption for physical security is the difficulty in finding skilled labour and trained technicians, especially as the industry continues to move to IP products and devices leveraged on the IT infrastructure. Workforce development will be a top industry trend in 2019 and beyond as we move to networked solutions in every category — from power to integrated access control to video surveillance. To assist, it’s up to manufacturers to present systems that are interoperable and scalable. Products need to be easy to install in the field and should not require extensive training or retraining for the technician. They need to be designed so installers can streamline solutions and install them over campuses and multi-location end-user markets and also perform maintenance and service with ease. The savings in training and field labour costs will add up big for systems integration contractors.
As we look back at 2018, one of the most disruptive trends was moving physical access control systems (PACS) to the cloud. Early adopters have charted a course for transforming entire industries by creating a unified mobile PACS experience that leverages the power of trusted identities in the cloud. One example is co-working spaces. For example, during 2018, Deskopolitan used HID Mobile Access® to enable its building tenants and other occupants to conveniently and securely access their campus in the heart of Paris, radically expanding how they engaged, interacted and worked together in their more intelligent workspaces. In another example, the international property management group Skanska selected HID Mobile Access to integrate its building applications so that employees and their guests can now move throughout the building and gain authorized access to restricted areas with nothing more than a smartphone. We expect to see new disruptive capabilities in 2019.
2018 was the year when some key trends that have been developing for a while may finally achieve the status of being "disrupters" — trends such as the increasing focus on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence-based applications, cloud solutions and privacy. If I were to pick one that has the potential of being the biggest disrupter, I’d say it’s the application of AI-based techniques in security. The application of AI to video allows computers to "learn," making existing applications such as facial recognition much more accurate, and it also opens up new applications such as the automatic detection of anomalies, speech recognition, audio analytics, and the correlation/analysis of data from different sensors. The next few years are going to see the development of a profusion of AI-based technologies, and the broad-based adoption of these products will fundamentally change the way "security" is done.
While it’s been coming for quite some time (and has been a continuous topic of discussion), the Cloud really made itself formidable in the past year, as an increasing number of customers began to adopt cloud-based technology in both access control and intrusion detection. More and more businesses are realising that leveraging the cloud is the most efficient way to solve emerging challenges. Customers are willing to take on Cloud products because they’re seeing the numerous benefits, such as quicker install times and increased functionality across locations. Additionally, an elevated focus on cybersecurity has made these organisations aware of the appropriate best practices for leveraging the cloud, therefore making its impact in 2018 even greater.
I think it’s easy to simply say convergence. But we’ve seen convergence in more ways than one: 1) Within systems and the convergence of security components, as users demand an emphasis on the full umbrella of security rather than small silos. 2) Data incorporation through dashboards designed to conglomerate large amounts of data into easily digestible format for streamlined decision-making. 3) Convergence between cyber and physical security, centered on the need to protect the entire enterprise. 4) Communication from security operations centers on a global scale and the convergence of collaboration regardless of geographical location. Convergence is responsible for a huge disruption this year in how organisations protect critical assets and people from threats, and we see this as an ongoing trend that will last through 2019 and beyond.
The continued focus on the connected world, driven by the IoT, has had significant impacts on the security market. It’s opened up a new world of opportunities as organisations look to further streamline operations and efficiency. Smart devices, such as video surveillance cameras, mobile applications and video analytics, can be used to further data collection and enable security leaders to make more informed decisions based on actionable intelligence. But as connectivity increases, it also leads to expanded risk from cyber threats. Security is no longer limited to just physical assets; electronic and cyber elements must also be considered to ensure comprehensive risk management. It’s not just the monetary loss that these businesses need to be concerned about — there is also a threat to the brand, customer trust and employee safety. Security leaders have shifted their thinking from traditional security methods, and we’ve seen greater collaboration between IT and security teams.
Over the past year, we’ve seen IT innovations have a significant impact on the evolution of the security market. Advanced technologies, such as deep learning, IoT devices and converged infrastructure, have made it easier to ingest, manage and access mission-critical security data. And demand for that data and the insights that can be gained from it continues to grow. Here’s an interesting fact: According to Wikibon, video is the largest “big data” application in the world, with 24 zettabytes being produced annually. That’s 24 billion terabytes and accounts for 46.8% of the total. It is all part of the equation that is moving us from just a focus on just “safe” to “safe+smart”. All this data places significant stress on IT and storage infrastructure. So overall, the most disruption has been caused by the growing appetite for data and it is only going to continue to increase.
Once a future-looking trend, smart technology integrations came to fruition in 2018, especially in the security industry. The increased interest in connected solutions challenged the status quo and forced the industry to rethink physical security technology as it relates to a holistic building strategy, rather than siloed sets of solutions. Integrated security applications put real-time, transparent information into the hands of customers that enable them to make informed choices and to help them better meet the goals of their business. Smart facilities, with integrated security, fire, life safety and building systems, can save time, reduce errors, prevent crime and most importantly create a more efficient and productive place to do business. While smart, integrated security solutions took the spotlight this year, the trend will only continue into 2019 as smart buildings and smart cities have a direct impact on customers and end-users.
One Expert Panellist describes the industry’s climate in 2018 as “a dynamic technology revolution.” The physical security industry was awash in AI and deep learning products, and sometimes there was more data than intelligence! It was a market upended by GDPR in Europe, and shocked by a government ban on Chinese products in the United States. Another driving force was the impact of IoT. It was an eventful – and disruptive – year for the industry. How will the industry change in the new year? Stay tuned.
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