Top technology trends set to impact security in 2020 outlined by Axis CTO

As existing technologies reach maturity and innovations make the leap from consumer applications to the business spectrum (and vice versa), it’s imperative that security professionals constantly seek out those that have the potential to add value to the host organisation. With this in mind, Johan Paulsson (CTO at network surveillance specialist Axis Communications) has identified five key trends that will have an impact on the physical security industry as we move in 2020.

The world on the edge
We’re seeing a growing momentum towards computing at the ‘edge’ of the network. More of the devices that are connected to the network require or would otherwise benefit from the ability to analyse received data, make a decision and take appropriate action. Autonomous vehicles are an obvious example. Whether in relation to communications with the external environment or through sensors detecting risks, decisions must be processed in a split second.

It’s the same with video surveillance. If we are to move towards the proactive rather than reactive, more processing of data and analysis needs to take place within the camera itself.

Processing power in dedicated devices
Dedicated and optimised hardware and software, designed for the specific application, is essential with the move towards greater levels of edge computing. Connected devices will need increased computing power and must be designed for purpose from the ground up with a ‘security first’ mindset.

The concept of embedded Artificial Intelligence in the form of machine and deep learning computation will also be more prevalent moving forwards.

Towards the trusted edge
Issues around personal privacy will continue to be debated around the world. While technologies such as dynamic anonymisation and masking can be used on the edge to protect privacy, attitudes and regulation are inconsistent across regions and countries.

The need to navigate the international legal framework will be ongoing for companies in the surveillance sector. Many organisations are still failing to undertake even the most basic of firmware upgrades, yet with more processing and analysis of data taking place in the device itself, cyber security will become ever more critical.

Regulation: use cases versus technology
Attitudes towards appropriate use technology cases and the regulations around them differ around the world. Facial recognition might be seen as harmless and even desirable. However, when used for monitoring citizens and social credit systems it’s regarded as much more sinister and unwanted. The technology is exactly the same, but the case is vastly different.

Regulations are struggling to keep pace with advances in technology. It’s a dynamic landscape that the industry will need to navigate, and one wherein business ethics will continue to come under intense scrutiny.

Network diversity

Johan Paulsson

Johan Paulsson

As a direct result of some of the regulatory complexities, privacy and cyber security concerns, we’re seeing a move away from the open Internet of the past two decades. While public cloud services will remain part of how we transfer, analyse and store data, hybrid and private clouds are growing in use.

Openness and data sharing was regarded as being essential for Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, yet pre-trained network models can now be tailored for specific applications with a relatively small amount of data. For instance, Axis Communications has been involved in a recent project where a traffic monitoring model trained with only 1,000 photo examples reduced false alarms in accident detection by as much as 95%.

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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