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What Lies Ahead for 2019
After spending close to 20
years in the security industry,
it is always a good exercise
to see what projections came
through the last year and
which ones we foresee in the coming years.
Some will be spot on, others will have been
delayed or major events will have thrown
Typically, we see an evolution and not a
revolution, so many of the trends are similar
to prior years.
The Internet of Things:
Connectivity Brings New
The trend toward connected devices continues
with no end in sight. Billions of security
and non-security devices and sensors are installed
worldwide, and they generate mountains
of data that is ripe for collection and
analysis to provide a more complete picture
of security and overall operations. The more
data that can be assimilated from disparate
security and non-security systems, the better
the intelligence that results from analysis.
The capabilities of IP-based systems are
constantly evolving, and recognizing the
growing thirst for data. Technology providers
continue to seek new and creative ways
to harness the potential power, flexibility and
intelligence the Internet of Things (IoT) and
big data offers, and IP camera providers have
been at the forefront of this movement.
According to IHS Markit, the video surveillance
market is expected to grow 10.2
percent in 2018, reaching global revenues of
$18.5 billion. This continued growth is significant,
as camera networks are uniquely
positioned to serve as the foundation of IoT
networks. For many years, camera providers
have worked to integrate their offerings
with access control, POS, speakers, HVAC,
building automation and other security and
non-security systems and devices. Analytics
create a wider range of potential applications,
such as in retail and city surveillance,
and VMS offer the ability to easily combine
a number of data sources to create a broad
overall view of processes, situations, operations
and much more. Therefore, expect to
see camera networks filling this role more
and more in 2019.
Along the lines of camera networks as
the foundation for IoT applications, one
technology that offers tremendous potential
for security providers is IP audio. Mirroring
the trend of IoT in general—ease of management,
integration, interconnectivity and
more—the market for IP audio systems is
expected to grow exponentially. The benefits
of integration between IP audio and IP video
include enhanced security, situational awareness,
business intelligence and more, which
should contribute to greater-than-expected
growth in the IP audio segment.
Still a Primary Concern
As has been the case for several years, no
discussion of future trends would be complete
without talking about cybersecurity.
The combination of increasingly connected
devices and systems with the fact that cybercriminals
continually grow more crafty
and relentless in their attempts to breach
networks make cybersecurity a perennial top
five trend for the security industry.
In the connected world, cybersecurity
has become one of the biggest concerns for
companies and governments alike. What
may have started out as people attempting to
hack into systems for the challenge or for the
fun of it has evolved into big business on the
Dark Web. For example, governments have
gotten in on the act, sponsoring hacking attempts
with the goal of uncovering secrets.
The variety of IP-based systems that are
integrated and/or interconnected raises the
stakes for cyber attacks. Without certain safeguards
in place, the security of any network is
only as strong as the security of the weakest
system or device within the overall ecosystem.
Many IP camera manufacturers provide
equipment that is by default set to provide
high levels of cybersecurity and provide regular
firmware updates and patches to address
emerging cyber threats. A number of providers
also make sure integrators have access to
their hardening guides, which lay out best
practices for configuring devices to ensure
the greatest level of cybersecurity.
Technology is important in addressing
cybersecurity, but as important are processes,
tools and education. The main questions
to ask yourself before selecting a vendor are:
- How quickly can they come out with a
patch should a vulnerability be found?
- How fast can 50, 500 or 5,000 IoT devices
- Will cyber patches be available for a camera
that was installed five or eight years ago?
Living up to the Hype?
At the moment, there is a high level of excitement
and hype around artificial intelligence
(AI) in the industry, and there are a number
of providers who are incorporating AI into
their solutions. However, because AI is still an
emerging technology, it is relatively unproven.
Yes, the day will come when AI is a force multiplier
for security, but that day is still far off.
In the meantime, because AI is still an emerging technology, it is
important to set realistic expectations that reflect actual capabilities
that are currently available, rather than those promised for the future,
as AI becomes a more proven solution.
Analytics and video intelligence are also maturing every year, but
that should not be confused with real AI. Video analytics is certainly
improving and can prove highly useful in some applications, such as
license plate recognition, retail analytics and facial recognition, depending
on the requirements of a deployment.
New Business Needs: Tools and Services
With security equipment becoming more advanced and capable every
year and cost of technical staff more challenging to find, it is no
longer enough to rely on hardware and software solutions to succeed
in security. Therefore, another trend we will see in the coming year
is companies diversifying to offer advanced design, installation and
maintenance tools along with services to augment their products.
This will benefit integrators, who face numerous challenges to
keep up to date with continuous advances in technology to stay ahead
of their competition. By offering services, manufacturers can collaborate
with integrators to offer the expertise to create custom solutions
that incorporate the latest security advancements. End users can take
advantage of these services to augment security and IT teams to deliver
added value, industry insight and practical experience without
having to find and hire qualified employees.
Partnerships: Key to Long-Term Success
As to be expected with security becoming a more interconnected business,
security professionals who try to go it on their own are in for a
very rough ride. In the face of this reality, companies will be seeking
out partnerships to help them compete in the ever-changing landscape.
This trend will be particularly fruitful for those integrators who
do their homework because partnering with the right company can
lead to long-term success.
When choosing a provider, it’s important to partner with a company
that offers advanced technologies, a wide breadth of offerings,
system and solution thinking, and the tools to successfully design,
install and deploy the most effective security systems for customers.
It’s imperative to look for companies with longevity, a proven track
record and a reputation for delivering high-quality solutions. Additionally,
a partner should also deliver added value in the form of
services and support.
As mentioned before, many of these trends are not unique to 2019.
However, they could have significant impact on your business in the
coming year and beyond. Your mission, whether or not you choose
to accept it, is to make sure you’re positioning your company to take
full advantage and responsibility of the coming
trends and technologies. Thankfully, there are a
number of resources available to help you make
sense of it all and be prepared for whatever comes
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of Security Today.