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The Security Megatrends in 2020

By George V. Hulme on Nov 05, 2019 | 0 Comments

Cybersecurity trends are always evolving. And the Security Industry Association, a trade group that focuses on physical and cyber security, believes it has identified the security “megatrends” that will dominate the immediate and long-term changes within the international security industry.

According to the Security Industry Association, for the second consecutive year, cybersecurity was identified as the predominant trend shaping the physical security industry and a major concern for C-suite executives, government buyers, enterprise organizations, integrators and others. Next up is artificial intelligence, which is accelerating in importance among respondents. Last year artificial intelligence was ranked fifth, this year it is ranked second as professionals believe artificial intelligence will play a role across many security technologies.

Also, a large number of respondents cited facial recognition as a security megatrend. While it’s the very first year that facial recognition made the list, facial recognition hit the list high making it to third place in its debut. Other newcomers to the megatrends ranking include national security concerns and “identity as the new perimeter.”

The Security Industry Association said the selection of 2020’s Security Megatrends is based on focus groups and surveys, held this fall, among business leaders, associations membership, and others. The list also aims to identify potential security industry disruptors and other trends that promise to have a clear impact on many businesses.

The 2020 Security Megatrends are, in order: cybersecurity impact on physical security, artificial intelligence, facial recognition, data privacy, cloud computing, national security concerns, connectivity and IoT, workforce development, the move to service models, and finally identity as the new perimeter.

The 2019 Security Megatrends report identified that as society increasingly connects devices and networks, IoT would continue to grow in importance. In that report, Valerie Thomas, executive consultant at Securicon, is quoted as saying that the physical security industry needs to “lift the veil and take the mystery out of cybersecurity.” She added: “Your industry is being targeted quite often and by people you don’t understand. They are exploiting the technology you create to get closer to your customers’ data.”

The smart technologies and IoT trend will remain disruptive in the year ahead, this year’s survey found. Steve Schattmaier, director, data enabled business, at Johnson Controls made it clear in last year’s report that there is little daylight between digital and physical systems and that the security of both need to be carefully considered as threats grow to connected security devices. “There are certain key steps that should be taken early to enable data analytics, certain types of dashboarding and loT enablement. There is a responsible roadmap that should be created and understood, and we need to start taking steps toward that,” he said.

The 2019 report provided some guidance relating to the digital security of physical devices:

  • Eliminate default passwords in equipment and software
  • Test and retest products internally and by an outside organization
  • Establish a vulnerability tracking and reporting program
    Know your hardware’s software and firmware
  • Create a security resource center for your integrators and customers
  • Update your internal security awareness training program
    Include cybersecurity in the product development process
    Remember that an effective cyber program is an ongoing process

Artificial intelligence is also expected to continue to disrupt security. The 2019 report found that while artificial intelligence provides more  “flexible, insightful and increasingly autonomous systems,” artificial intelligence won’t immediately reduce security jobs. “It will instead feed smarter information to professionals and responders. AI in video applications is an obvious and immediate opportunity for security. In video, AI faces the challenge of generating so much data that can’t be effectively reviewed without machine learning doing some of the groundwork,” the 2019 report found.

Those findings are in contrast to what cybersecurity professionals said in Security Professionals Hope AI Will Solve What Ails Them. In that post we covered how 65% of the cybersecurity and IT executives surveyed believe that artificial intelligence and machine learning will be able to solve more security problems than humans can solve. That survey found that 64% of respondents have yet to deploy artificial intelligence/machine learning into their environments.

There has been talk of the convergence of physical and digital security for decades. Originally, much of the discussion was around the unification of digital and physical access rights and to track user locations throughout a building. While such efforts occurred within some larger organizations or highly-secure organizations, the rise of IoT, cloud, data analytics, and edge computing are bringing the two more closely together than ever.

“Cybersecurity resoundingly tops the list of Security Megatrends again for 2020. With the increased risk and frequency of cyberattacks, today’s systems integrators and product developers are working to make sure that security solutions meet or exceed an organization’s cyber-preparedness standards,” said Scott Schafer, chairman of the SIA Board of Directors. “SIA also forecasts that the trends of artificial intelligence and facial recognition will dramatically impact the industry in coming years. Both AI and facial recognition are experiencing clear technology advancements, and SIA will continue to track the industry and consumer tech adoption rates and emerging applications for these dynamic Security Megatrends.” 

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Author: George V. Hulme

George V. Hulme is an internationally recognized information security and business technology writer. For more than 20 years Hulme has written about business, technology, and IT security topics. From March 2000 through March 2005, as senior editor at InformationWeek magazine, he covered the IT security and homeland security beats. His work has appeared in CSOOnline, ComputerWorld, Network Computing, Government Computer News, Network World, San Francisco Examiner, TechWeb, VARBusiness, and dozens of other technology publications.