What technology buzz will dominate the security industry in 2020?
7 Jan 2020
The new year comes with new opportunities for the security industry, but what technologies will dominate our discussions in 2020? Topics such as artificial intelligence (AI) and HCI (hyperconverged infrastructure) became familiar in conversations during 2019, and they are likely to dominate our thoughts again in the new year. But other buzzwords are also gaining steam, such as “blockchain” and “frictionless access control.” Connectivity and the cloud will also be timely technology topics as the industry evolves. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What technology buzz will dominate the security industry in 2020?
The dominant technology that is emerging and will become prominent in 2020 is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). There are so many different types of AI, and they need to be refined and trained. In the past few years, AI started to enter our field, but now it is becoming embedded in the chipset and ready to run on the edge. This new generation of AI will be affordable and deliver analytics performance capable of detecting objects with obstructions in the way, such as foliage and changing lighting conditions for 24/7 use. AI-based cameras can precisely recognise objects such as vehicles and people, as well as capture identifying characteristics such as clothing or vehicle colors, carried items such as bags, backpacks, hats and glasses. With object recognition, we can make existing analytics much more powerful and all but eliminate false positives for motion we want to ignore.
The buzz around hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) for video surveillance will increase as more organisations look to simplify their architectures and deploy new capabilities. As demand for better security, smart city and public safety initiatives (public sector), and the desire for business intelligence grows, so too will the demand for technology that companies can depend on to store and manage their surveillance data. There is already significant growth in worldwide surveillance storage revenue with IHS predicting that it will rise from $3.4 billion in 2019 to $4.2 billion in 2020. As such, those utilising legacy systems will turn to HCI for easier management of their compute, storage and networking needs, as well as the ability to scale their storage in the future.
This may sound biased, but I think that there is due to be a revolution in the infrastructure behind physical security applications. While all of the amazing new analytics, ML (machine learning) and AI solutions are flooding the market, they all need a stable, cyber-secure platform to run on. It is the “cyber” aspect where the most infrastructure innovation will take place in my opinion – the ability to encrypt live video, prevent un-intended or malicious sharing of video data to protect against corporate liability and risk is where I expect all technologies to gain massive traction in 2020. The infrastructure evolution isn’t just limited to core systems either; it will be expected and even more necessary to deliver intelligent cybersecurity functionality at the edge as well.
For access control, it’ll be the continuance on the focus of frictionless access, making multi-factor authentication more accessible and less expensive, more expansion of access control into residential, and more emphasis on Access Control as a Service (ACaaS). For video surveillance, it’ll be the continued expansion of H.265, more and better analytics at the edge and on the cloud, and more cloud services that sit upon and augment video surveillance installations.
In 2020, we expect to see many of the same buzzwords that have been prevalent in the industry throughout 2019, cloud being the most dominant. Our clients are calling out for services beyond break/fix and basic training. They are looking for proactive support through remote monitoring, a higher level of adoption services, and a more manageable life cycle replacement through non-traditional models such as leasing and Technology-as-a-service. Much of this is made possible by the cloud, so we suspect that manufacturers, integrators and end users alike will shift their focus to this type of service model. In addition, the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) are growing at a steady rate. With continued, fast-paced development, AI is shifting from a novelty service to a normality. End users are demanding systems that can learn and make corrections based upon previous actions and data without any input from the operator.
While it isn’t necessarily a “new” buzzword, the core of the trends in 2020 will center around the idea of more connectivity. The rise of connected devices on a network — whether they are access control, intrusion or video-related — is giving way to an increase in platforms that can bring all of these components together in a centralised manner. End users do not want to have to call on numerous ways of managing these devices; instead, they’re looking for manufacturers to deliver the tools necessary to increase situational awareness easily and intuitively. Going further, connectivity is central to the level of integration we’re seeing in the market today. There’s a marked shift in the formation of technology alliances with other providers in an effort to deliver more to customers, find ways to maximise existing investments and offer better integration for dealers and integrators working with clients.
While you’ve probably heard of blockchain in relation to cryptocurrency, its value extends to other sectors that require trustworthy data. Essentially, it’s a method of tracking data changes over time in a way that ensures non-repudiation. When used in security technology, blockchain can prevent tampering with video and access control evidence as well as identity management systems. Because it creates a cryptographically verifiable link to each previously accepted interaction, blockchain can determine if a file has been altered and provide information about where and when the tampering occurred. This is incredibly powerful when for maintaining chain of custody and ensuring that security data has not been manipulated. While we’re already seeing blockchain used in a variety of enterprise-level software, most security systems still rely on traditional database approaches to track changes to data. As the benefits of blockchain become more widely recognised, the security industry will also start using it.
Next year will see the extension of a trend that started to become prominent this year: the need for mission-critical organisations to obtain increased insight into security operations. We know that there are various sources and systems that operators can rely on for data and intelligence, but now, the importance has shifted to finding the best way to leverage this information. Today’s businesses, especially at the enterprise level, require a simplified way to manage their devices through one platform, and the buzz in 2020 will be around the solutions that make this possible. These intelligent solutions will enable security operators to make better and more informed decisions by turning data into qualified insight that facilitates action and more effective outcomes. This type of platform will also be critical as organisations increasingly look to implement convergence between cyber and physical security across the enterprise in 2020.
Cloud is now and we can expect to see this trend carry on into 2020 especially as adoption continues to increase across the industry. Among enterprises, we expect the use of cloud-based services, such as video and access control systems, to grow substantially in 2020. Corporate organisations, large campuses and other complex facilities are embracing the benefits of the cloud that small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) currently experience, such as scalability, efficient operations, remote capabilities and automatic software updates. The buzz around cloud will also go hand in hand with another foreseeable trend: convergence. Both SMBs and enterprise-level organisations will look to the cloud for a common operating platform that integrates both physical security and IT for the streamlined management and comprehensive protection of systems operating on the network.
We have all seen the Megatrends list for 2020 that includes: Cybersecurity, AI, Facial Recognition, Data Privacy, Cloud Computing, Connectivity and IoT. The transformation is going to be utilising all of these areas to shift from post-incident investigations to immediate event response and prevention. With this transformation we are seeing the growing calls for invasion of privacy in the security sector and we can expect these trends to continue. The buzz is going to be providing for safety and security without further infringing on privacy rights. Growing demand will be for new IoT sensor technology that uses advanced data analytics that monitor changes within the environment to trigger events without capturing personal individual data, providing for safety and security without leaving one vulnerable to cyber security threats.
The industry buzz in 2020 will likely surround many trends we've already seen emerging, such as cybersecurity and more connected and AI-enabled devices. The buzz will also focus on more core items such as the use of the cloud, privacy concerns, video compression and storage, and the country of origin of security devices. Above all else, we can expect one fact to be true: video will be everywhere. Video is the cornerstone of security, providing real-time and forensic coverage for emerging threats and incidents, which is why it’s one of the fastest-growing segments of the marketplace. 360-degree cameras will become even more prominent, existing at the core of surveillance systems and continuing to lead industry growth. We will start to see the impact of the mass rollout of 5G technology, creating advantages such as increased data transfer speed, high connectivity density for mass IoT and enhanced mobile capabilities.
Artificial Intelligence is here to stay, and in 2020 we expect to see AI-enabled analytics continue to gain popularity, especially when used in conjunction with Internet of Things (IoT)-connected devices. As an industry, we are pivoting away from selling simple security systems that solely deter crime and protect assets, but instead are moving towards selling intelligent solutions that protect and provide value across a number of indicators, from business intelligence to operational efficiencies. While there are some setbacks in AI’s growth, due in part to the complexity of these solutions, we are seeing manufacturers and developers work to make AI a more accessible technology for both integrators and end users. By bundling popular AI functions, such as people counting, behavioral analytics, fire detection, and more, integrators can offer value-added features for end users, who in turn can gain greater insights into their own organisations.
In 2020, we predict that artificial intelligence (AI) will fuel the demand for video surveillance. When using AI analytics, every video frame counts, making dropped frames or unclear image quality detrimental to optimal performance. Video is the lifeblood of AI, which makes reliable uploading of each frame vital. This creates an urgent need for robust video surveillance transmission and storage technologies to reliably record and manage both video and data for advanced analysis, which enables superior AI and deep learning functionality.
We believe that data is potential and that data is becoming even more essential to the way the world works. By 2025, IDC predicts that 20 percent of data will be critical to our daily lives and nearly 10 percent hypercritical. Data-driven applications continue to fuel the exponential growth of the global datasphere. In 2020, then, as intelligent sensors, including smart surveillance cameras, take center stage, data will continue to drive quality of life, business efficiency and technology advancement in the security industry. Data, as well as the technologies enabling greater data capture, data management and real-time intelligence, will be important topics of conversation. The impact of the proliferation of IoT devices, especially those enhanced by artificial intelligence will continue to be widely discussed. With the number of IoT devices expected to reach 80 billion by 2025, we are moving beyond smart sensors and into the era of smart everything.
The evolution of smart cities will dominate conversations among security executives, private sector leaders and government agencies in 2020. News of mass shootings, assaults, theft and other incidents, as well as reports from leading research institutions, continue to underscore the need for proactive threat detection technologies versus reactive crime evidence collection solutions. As metropolises consider and adopt smart city agendas, there will be more talk of total solutions that feature traditional cameras as well as specialty sensors like thermal cameras and radar for around-the-clock intrusion detection where performance isn’t hindered by varying light or weather conditions. Smart wearable sensors and drones will garner greater attention in 2020 as these devices provide expanded visibility beyond the point of fixed cameras in high-risk scenarios for command center personnel.
I believe there is a cost-effective solution that will dominate in 2020. With the latest advancements in RFID and mobile devices, there are new use cases that were not possible in the past. For example, access control solutions represent early use cases of the value of RFID to security. At that point the use case was limited to bringing the RFID chip (employee badge) to the reader because the reader was so expensive. Now that mobile phones can read an RFID chip which are cheap and accessible, we open the door to new use cases. Ensuring the physical safety and security across a property means ensuring that staff are completing all the tasks outlined in operating procedures. Staff are the foundation of providing a safe environment, combining the power of RFID and a mobile device, management can now monitor compliance to help reduce operating risk.
Virtual reality will have a huge security impact next year in a few different ways for state and local agencies, the first being the training process. With VR technology, agencies are able to move away from expensive and ineffective simulations and execute a wide array of training scenarios that will help them make smarter mitigation and rescue decisions when a real disaster strikes. The second effect VR will have is when it comes time to respond to a crisis. After natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, state and local agencies are able to use geographic information science (GIS) data in order to mitigate catastrophic results. This added insight allows response teams to better understand what areas are dangerous or inaccessible and where there’s most need for resources.
In the security industry, we are seeing increased deployment of artificial intelligence technologies in surveillance applications. License plate recognition, facial recognition and other intelligent software applications will continue to see steady adoption across the public safety and municipal sectors. However, without high-quality video, even the most advanced analytics can’t perform. Along those lines, we expect video clarity and the technologies enabling clearer images to become more important in physical security system discussions in 2020. High-end cameras boasting 4K resolution and beyond will be hot topics. Security optimised lighting solutions like infrared and white-light illuminators– which enable greater light emission ranges and illumination angle flexibility– will become more essential for installations where color video is needed for investigations and suspect identification. By implementing higher quality lighting sources, customers improve video capture for surveillance cameras, which leads to clearer images and optimal AI performance.
Technology buzz will continue to drive many industry trends in the new year. But counterbalancing the buzz is a growing need for practical and affordable systems that solve real problems for integrators and end users. Perhaps in 2020 the real-world solutions will finally catch up to the technology buzz. Maybe we can translate innovation into more satisfied customers and a more secure world. That would be a happy new year indeed!
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