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Physical Security Trends and Considerations for 2024

The physical security industry is undergoing remarkable transformations. The convergence of physical security and cybersecurity, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), and the increased proliferation of cloud-based security solutions have all caused major industry disruptions.

To shed light on which emerging trends physical security experts should keep an eye out for in 2024, experts from LenelS2 have weighed in what’s top of mind for them. 

Before we dive into the trends shaping the future of physical security, let's discuss the vital role it plays in our modern world. 

What is the Importance of Physical Security in Today's World?

Physical security encompasses the protection of all physical assets, people, and sensitive data from a range of threats, including theft, vandalism, unauthorized physical access, and cyberattacks. As our lives become more intertwined with technology, the lines between the physical and digital realms blur, necessitating a comprehensive security strategy to protect physical devices from both physical, digital, and cyber physical threats. For example, even everyday devices like surveillance cameras are no longer immune to cyber threats, highlighting the need for a holistic approach that covers both physical and cybersecurity.

2024 Physical Security Trends, According to LenelS2 Thought Leaders

SaaS Security, Cybersecurity, and Advanced Security Analytics

Ewa Pigna, CTO, LenelS2

In my view, we’re witnessing a profound shift away from traditional perpetual licensing models towards more dynamic Software as a Service (SaaS) structures, largely thanks to the widespread adoption of cloud hosting. This shift promises greater flexibility and scalability for organizations. 

I also consider cybersecurity to be tremendously important. We must ensure that all components — from readers and applications to cards, panels, servers, and the cloud — are adequately protected against cyber threats. A holistic approach is essential to fortify every aspect of the security infrastructure. 

The introduction of analytics and insights into security systems is another game-changing development. This isn't merely about improving security; it's also about enhancing overall operational efficiency and exploring data monetization through integrated solutions. These insights promise to provide valuable data that can optimize security measures and simultaneously boost operational performance.

Additionally, the lines between access control and video surveillance are blurring. Security systems are evolving to seamlessly handle data from various sources, resulting in a unified user interface driven by advanced analytics. This fusion of access and video not only enhances security measures, but also streamlines operations by providing a comprehensive, data-driven view of the security landscape.

Data Privacy & Digital Security

Servaas Kamerling, Product & Marketing Director EMEA, Carrier, Global Access Solutions

One significant development is the growing emphasis on data privacy and ethics. It's not just a matter of compliance with regulations; it's about building trust and adhering to ethical standards. In an era where data plays a central role in security systems, ensuring the privacy and ethical handling of data is essential.

Economic changes, such as rapid advancements in technology, geopolitical events, shifts in energy markets, and changes in population demographics, are also important factors to consider. Buildings and facilities need to compete with the digital world, offering accessibility, engagement, and convenience to users. Adapting to these shifting market dynamics is essential for maintaining effective security measures.

Additionally, the ever-increasing global nature of business has paved the way for a more significant emergence of national governance through compliance standards for products and trade. These standards aren't merely about sustaining or enabling business; they should be seen as a means to foster business growth. This signifies a shift toward integrating security and regulatory compliance as tools for expanding and advancing businesses, rather than just meeting requirements.

AI-Driven Physical Security Solutions

Sarah LeGault, Senior Software Manager, LenelS2

AI technology is making waves in the world of physical security, ushering in a new era of proactive and intelligent security solutions. In my role, I've observed a growing adoption of digital, cloud-based access control, and AI offerings — and I expect this trend to continue.  

AI-driven solutions are disrupting the physical security landscape by actively monitoring real-time video feeds and analyzing data, reducing false alarms, and providing rapid responses. Smart security systems equipped with computer vision algorithms detect motion, while behavioral analytics and threat intelligence platforms continuously monitor camera feeds, flagging suspicious activities. AI is also extending its influence into weapons detection, identifying firearms and concealed weapons through thermal imaging and other means.

To maximize the benefits of AI in physical security, I see the partnership between AI technology and human operators as essential. To successfully implement AI security solutions, companies should conduct risk assessments, consider data privacy and compliance, educate their teams, and ensure continuous monitoring and maintenance.

The Importance of Cloud-based Security

Brian Matthews, Cloud Sales Leader, LenelS2

As the Cloud Sales Leader at LenelS2, I see a profound shift occurring in the security sector. Cloud solutions, which have long been staples in the IT and consumer markets, are now making their way into physical security. This transition promises to deliver remarkable benefits, such as the swift adoption of mobile credentials, advanced analytics, and real-time trending and exception reports.

The cloud's rise in security is driven by its inherent flexibility and scalability. It goes beyond mere data storage, revolutionizing security operations. Mobile credentials provide enhanced access control, while cloud-based analytics harness vast data volumes for actionable insights, shifting security from a reactive to a proactive stance. In sum, well-architected cloud solutions are ushering in a new era of agility and efficiency, ensuring a safer environment for all stakeholders.

What Should Security Professionals Consider in Technology?

AI in Physical Security and the Importance of Collaboration

Ewa Pigna, CTO, LenelS2

It’s important to consider the benefits of engaging with trusted partners when adapting existing systems to take advantage of new technologies. A prime example of this is the integration of cloud connectivity into on-premises systems. This evolution can be orchestrated either by value-added resellers (VAR) or end-users, with both playing a pivotal role in the process.

It’s also crucial to foster a deep understanding of the various facets of AI, machine learning (ML), and analytics. Instead of getting caught up in buzzwords, approach these technologies with a critical eye. Becoming educated about the genuine value these advancements offer is key to making informed decisions about their implementation.

On that note, don’t be afraid to deploy new tech in your organization. Rather than overhauling entire systems, it’s a good idea to begin with small-scale implementations to manage potential risks and expand systematically. This approach makes it possible to stay ahead of the curve without compromising existing security infrastructure.

Finally, collaboration is an invaluable asset. Actively participating in industry events, establishing relationships with peers, and sharing insights on problem-solving can be highly beneficial in staying abreast of the latest trends and evolving threats.

The Importance of Environmental Awareness in Security

Servaas Kamerling, Product & Marketing Director EMEA, Carrier, Global Access Solutions

Environmental impact is a big area of focus for me looking ahead to 2024. It’s crucial to emphasize user convenience while still minimizing the environmental footprint of security solutions. This involves streamlining processes, assessing company carbon footprints, and the sustainability of materials and packaging. Striking a balance between efficiency and sustainability needs to be a high priority.

Protecting the Supply Chain from Threats

Sarah LeGault, Senior Software Manager, LenelS2

I can't stress enough the importance of focusing on the supply chain. 

The supply chain is the lifeblood of many organizations, and any disruption or breach can have far-reaching consequences. By embracing a comprehensive strategy that covers every aspect, from sourcing to distribution, you can better safeguard your products, data, and operations against potential threats. In an age where cyberattacks and vulnerabilities can manifest at any point within the supply chain, it's our responsibility to ensure its integrity and resilience. This requires an ongoing commitment to robust security measures, regular assessments, and a proactive mindset to address any emerging risks.

Importance of Embracing Cloud Security Solutions

Brian Matthews, Cloud Sales Leader, LenelS2

My number one takeaway for 2024 is the importance of embracing cloud solutions in the security industry. 

Cloud technologies offer a solution to the perennial challenge of finding and retaining skilled technicians. By reducing on-site maintenance, these solutions cut costs, improve efficiency, and make it possible to deliver better service. They also require less maintenance and fewer upgrades, facilitating a more proactive approach to security, and serve as a foundation for adopting new technologies like mobile credentials and advanced analytics. Essentially, cloud solutions are set to revolutionize the way security professionals address industry challenges.

How LenelS2 Can Help Future-Proof Your Physical Security

The future of physical security in 2024 promises to be dynamic and technology driven. Successfully safeguarding growing digital and physical footprints will require an adaptable approach grounded in ethical best practices and supported by cloud technology. By implementing emerging technologies like AI alongside tried-and-true tactics and working with trusted partners like LenelS2, organizations can build robust security strategies that will withstand future challenges. Contact us today to learn more.
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