Genetec outlines Top 5 predictions for physical security trends in 2020

Genetec, the technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence, has shared its Top 5 predictions for the physical security industry in 2020. Those predictions focus on Artificial Intelligence, facial recognition and privacy, physical identity management, data protection and blockchain and cyber security.

Artificial Intelligence: separating facts from fiction

While AI is fast becoming a household term, it’s far from being a household reality. While machines are making huge steps forward, they are not capable of thinking or acting like humans. What they are really good at, however, is combing through a huge amount of data to provide deeper insights in order to help humans make informed decisions more quickly and efficiently.

In 2020, we can expect machine learning to continue to make huge strides in the security sector, helping cities and law enforcement to deploy their physical resources more efficiently based on predicted trends in crime.

Machine learning will also be instrumental in helping Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems become better than ever at reading characters, rejecting bad reads, recognising a number plate’s country of origin and more.

Facial recognition and privacy

While some people see the deployment of facial recognition or other analytics that can identify individuals and track their movements as a powerful way to enhance efficiency and security, others see it as invasive, with both the Government and the European Union considering regulation to define the technology’s boundaries.

As we move into 2020, developers will need to work hand in hand with regulating bodies, while continuing to improve the technology to eliminate biases. Developing solutions using a privacy-by-design approach will help reduce concerns and increase protection.

Physical identity management

Organisations of all sizes need to control access to their spaces and facilities. However, companies that don’t have the budget to invest in costly customised applications have to rely on untraceable processes that involve a lot of human interactions to grant and then revoke access to their secured spaces and facilities. Keeping track of access on an individual basis demands a great deal of time and energy from security operators, personnel and visitors.

Fortunately, in 2020, the proliferation of out-of-the-box solutions will result in more small and mid-sized organisations moving to cloud-based identity management systems that they can implement easily. These more affordable Physical Identity and Access Management solutions will help organisations secure their systems and facilities by effectively managing access requests based on an individual’s identity and an organisation’s security policies. They can also ensure that only those individuals who have the right to access a secured area can do so by managing and automating the process.

Improving data protection with blockchain

While blockchain is typically associated with cryptocurrency, it’s increasingly being used in other sectors. Essentially, it’s a non-destructive way to track data changes over time. When used in security technology, blockchain can prevent tampering with video and access control evidence as well as identity management systems.

Due to its capacity to track interactions with digital files, blockchain can determine if a file has been tampered with and then provide information about where and when the tampering occurred. This is incredibly powerful when it comes to maintaining the chain of custody and ensuring that security data has not been manipulated.

We’re already seeing it being used by enterprise-level, global organisations that are looking for a technology to underpin their security systems. As the benefits of blockchain become more widely recognised, others will also start using it to protect the integrity of both their operational and security data.

Continued focus on cyber security

Cyber security will continue to be a huge issue for the physical security industry in 2020. Hiscox estimated that 55% of UK companies faced cyber attack(s) in 2019, costing an average of £176,000. As companies and bodies collect more data, they’re going to have more data to protect.

Today, governing bodies and responsible manufacturers are already working in partnership with academic researchers, technology experts, civil rights advocates and industry leaders to regulate the use of potentially invasive technology and the procedures required to safeguard against data breaches. These partnerships will only strengthen in 2020.

In addition to helping guide regulations, manufacturers will need to invest heavily in cyber security by building protections into their products by default. For all involved, the goal will be to promote security while protecting individual privacy and civil liberties. Only if done correctly we will be able to have both at the same time.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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