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More than a thousand companies will be showing off their latest and greatest technologies and services at this year’s ISC West in Las Vegas. With so much to look at and experience, will you be able to pinpoint the next big thing or things that will dominate the security market in 2017? A good way to predict those upcoming trends is to look at what’s happening in some larger, adjacent technology industries, such as IT and consumer electronics. Major trends on these fronts are the most likely to influence what new products will be launched in the electronic security industry.

Proof in point is H.264, an advanced compression technology ratified in 2003 and adopted as the new standard by the consumer industry a few years later. By 2009, it became the new compression standard for the video surveillance industry as well. The same thing happened with high resolution video cameras, first introduced into the consumer market and then gradually penetrating the video surveillance market a few years later. In fact, if you look at much of the product development in the sensor industry, it has been mainly driven by the consumer markets – think smart phone cameras and dashboard and rear-view cameras for the automotive industry.

So, what influencing trends from the IT and consumer electronics industries can we expect to see in the security industry at this year’s ISC West? I believe there will be three: big data, cyber security and the Internet of Things.

Security systems continually
generate massive amounts of
data and video surveillance
cameras are probably the
biggest culprits

Translating big data into business intelligence

We all know that security systems continually generate massive amounts of data and video surveillance cameras are probably the biggest culprits. The question is: What do we do with all that collected data? This is where video analytics and integrating different systems come into play, enabling users to cross reference data for more comprehensive insights. When analytics were first introduced into the security market a decade ago, performance was less than optimal. However, the technology has slowly matured and become a much more robust and reliable tool for translating big data into usable business intelligence. In the coming year, expect to see more analytics being built into cameras and video management systems and becoming part of video surveillance companies’ standard offerings.

The issue of dealing with ever more massive data collections will be compounded by the growing number of integrated security solutions that incorporate an exciting array of other sensor technologies in addition to the surveillance cameras. This will open the window of opportunity for big storage companies such as NetApp and DELL/EMC to capitalise on the big data trend and position themselves as strategic partners in the security industry.

The concept of IoT has gained renewed energy in recent years because of IoT trends in the consumer industry
In 2016 there were several high-profile incidents where networks were compromised through breaches in their physical security systems

Strengthening cyber security

Despite hearing about data breaches for many years – everything from credit card information stolen from retail giants to patient files siphoned from healthcare institutions – the issue was not a major topic of discussion among physical security professionals; however, last year something changed. In 2016 there were several high-profile incidents where networks were compromised through breaches in their physical security systems. One of the most recent was at the presidential inauguration in January where a number of IP cameras and NVRs were discovered being hacked. It served as a wake-up call to the security industry as to the severity of the situation and brought the topic to the forefront for manufacturers. While cyber security certainly relies on technology for protection, even more important are policies, tools and training for integrators and users. Because the IT industry has dealt with this issue for many years, their experience can serve as a model for implementing comparable technologies and protocols for physical security. While there will likely be a lot of marketing around cyber security at ISC West, it is important that people take the time to fully understand exactly what technologies and tools vendors are delivering to address it.

With all this new technology
coming onto the market, the
emphasis on education and
supporting services will
become more significant

Internet of Security Things

IoT is really nothing new. If you look back to the first network-based IP cameras introduced in 1996, they were, in fact, true IoT devices. However, the concept of IoT has gained renewed energy in recent years because of IoT trends in the consumer industry – smart homes, connected cars and mobility in general. So, how will this play out at ISC West? Expect to see more smart devices sharing the network. We have seen IP-based access control systems, IP-based intercoms and even IP-based intelligent audio systems hitting the market over the last few years. If you look around any school, hotel or airport you will quickly realise that there are more speakers installed in those environments than cameras. Also look at the latest network-based innovations in perimeter protection, especially those using thermal cameras to provide high system accuracy. In addition, there will be companies debuting totally new types of IoT devices at ISC West this year, making 2017 the year of the Internet of Security Things.

Security education, tools, and services

With all this new technology coming onto the market, the emphasis on education and supporting services will become all the more important. As you wander the aisles of ISC West this year, consider what new skills and tools you will need to reap the full benefit of mining big data, hardening your physical security systems and connecting smarter physical security devices to your network.

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Author profile

Fredrik Nilsson Vice President of the Americas, Axis Communications

Fredrik Nilsson is the general manager for Axis Communications with responsibility for the company’s operations in North America since 2003. During this time, he has helped the company increase its revenue more than tenfold and has been instrumental in leading the industry shift from analogue closed circuit television to network video.

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