As 2017 is headed to a close we can already see trends that will shape the security landscape in the next year. Some of the trends that we’re seeing for 2018 include the growing recognition of the vital role physical security plays in assuring cybersecurity – and vice versa. We are also seeing new means of how organizations are approaching physical security compliance, and an evolving (and more strategic) relationship between integrators and end-users. Understanding these trends should help organizations plan ahead for how they can benefit most as 2018 unfolds.
With more and more security systems going digital and connecting to networks, the growing emphasis on cybersecurity in the security sector is a natural evolution for the industry. Tens of thousands of security devices have now become vulnerable; each one an attack surface that hackers can use to access your network. As we move into the new year, manufacturers, integrators, and end users are going to be increasingly recognizing the critical importance of cybersecurity for security technologies.
Making sure that software and firmware updates can be quickly installed, engaging with artificial intelligence to develop preventative measures, and implementing automation to verify data streams are all essential components of this trend. Communication between IT and physical security is critical to ensuring that cybersecurity measures are up to date, consistent, and operating across the entire network.
Compliance is another area that will continue to grow in importance for physical security systems in 2018. No one should expect that the number and complexity of regulations will be reduced, especially as the Internet of Things expands along with the need to ensure that organizations are adhering to policies that relate to all these networked solutions – including their physical security systems. Previously the domain of energy production facilities, casinos, and military bases, more and more industries are building physical security controls into their compliance standards. A good example is the PCI (Payment Card Industry) standard, which recognized that significant physical security controls were needed to thwart criminal activity that otherwise might be ignored, such as adding “skimmers” to point-of-sale terminals.
A growing trend is to have compliance auditing “baked in” for operational reviews; in this case, automated data gathering shoulders much of the burden that would previously need to be done manually by the security team. An automated data verification solution can ensure, for example, that cameras are continuing to function and retention periods are being met. This data can be a challenge to gather manually, and users are often not aware of an issue until it causes a problem; for example, a lack of storage could result in video data being lost. We can expect auditors to begin demanding digital compliance records, and so ensuring that your system has measures in place to collect compliance data and send alerts when systems operate outside of compliance will help to keep you up and running.
Finally, today’s integrators are true consultants to the organizations for which they recommend and install systems. That trend will deepen across 2018 as integrators broaden from selling security hardware systems to adding in value-added services and analytics that extend over the life of the system. Many organizations need help with life cycle management of their security assets, predictive analytics around their operations and replacement cycles, and risk management strategies to reduce exposure to litigation and damage to the organization’s brand. Integrators are well positioned to help their customers with these issues.
Technology’s exponential growth will surely continue to bring more challenges across 2018 – that we can count on. But in terms of real solutions to today’s problems we are heading in the right direction. Improved compliance solutions, a greater focus on cybersecurity, and expanded consultancy and services opportunities for integrators are all examples of that. 2018 will be the year the physical security industry looks back on as to when digital transformation really took hold and delivered in its promise. Excited? Viakoo is – stop by our booth at ISC West next April and let’s compare notes on how 2018 is looking then.