Security Foresights for the New Year
Data is becoming more digital and systems are becoming more integrated
- By Clayton Brown
- Dec 01, 2019
It is hard to type in 2-0-2-0, but the reality
is 2020 is finally here. Once upon
a time, this was the year when cars
could fly, human immune systems
healed themselves and cops could
stop a crime dead in its tracks. While some
of these things are still more of a dream
than a reality, the last one is becoming
more viable every day.
Today, we can safely say that data is becoming
more digital, systems are becoming
more integrated and security is becoming
more predictive. So, while we may not have
flying cars, we have come a long way. And
we are only going to get smarter and more
innovative from here. Below are the top
trends we might see in 2020, and beyond.
Six Trends for 2020
Zero-trust environments converge. Cybersecurity
is teaching us the enemy is most
likely already inside your organization;
however, physical security is just beginning
our digital transformation and is
steadily adopting this zero-trust mentality.
The challenge: finding physical security
tools that can secure your facility the same
way IT secures your network. The good
news is we do not have to pave a new path.
Physical security can learn from mistakes
witnessed in InfoSec, as well as adopt established
best practices to ensure this digital
transformation is simple and secure.
Risk-adaptive technologies have started
to emerge in the physical security market.
Access control is becoming aware of
individual behavior and intelligent enough
to make sure staff does not enter risky
environments. Unification platforms are
not just looking at camera feeds, but are
integrating non-traditional information
feeds, such as operational technology, network
security and even social media posts.
And analytics are becoming predictive
rather than forensic. As technologies and
methodologies converge, security postures
will become more connected and proactive,
making our overall society safer.
Security directors – and citizens alike
– can have peace of mind, even in the
modern, low-trust environments of a
Search for more meaning. Data without
context is just noise. Data will continue
to explode, requiring greater context and
intelligence to understand, reflect and improve
upon current- and -historical trends.
This will be supported by increasing reliance
on AI and neural networks to predict
behaviors, prevent security problems,
and increase efficiencies and effectiveness
of physical and cybersecurity teams for
higher-level problem solving and purpose.
Rather than an AI revolution, we will
see an AI evolution. In the US, AI has
increased worker productivity while contributing
to a growing number of new job
and economic growth. Together, new technologies,
data, AI and robotics will work
together to significantly improve our output
and lifestyle by supplementing where
we are weak and complementing where we
Focus on governance. Permission is one
thing, governance is another. Security has
relied on static-access control to ensure
staff can enter the correct facilities as needed.
By giving someone a credential, you are
giving them your trust. But how do you
verify that trust is not being abused?
The answer is new to physical security,
but an accepted one in IT: governance.
Governance and compliance will soon
begin creeping into physical security because
of the impact of digital transformation.
Regulations for handling sensitive,
Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
data will come into focus, offering a system of checks and balances on data ownership, proper segmentation
of data and safe handling of physical security data.
Conditional privacy concept. Privacy is paramount until safety is
at risk. Security and privacy are two sides of the same coin. And
in the past, these have been mutually exclusive - meaning that we
will keep the information secured - but that data could be relevant
to keeping someone physically safe. Furthermore, as a member of
the SIA Data Privacy advisory board, I can assure you security
practitioners keep this top of mind.
But rather than the standard privacy “or” security, can we use
“and” to have our cake and eat it too? Systems that are aware of
an operation’s current risk status can help eliminate this false ultimatum
and better balance privacy and safety concerns based on
the current environment. You can loosely think of this as ‘conditional
privacy’ or ‘safety-adjusted privacy.’ This will help improve
physical security, while maintaining data privacy regulations.
Increased automation. Automation can sound scary. But automated
safety sounds ok, right? Robots are great at supplementing
where humans are weak, and in physical security there are plenty
of applications where we are physically or logically vulnerable.
Physical security has lagged behind IT and the rest of the enterprise
when it comes to tools, but 2020 will be the year when
practitioners begin to trust some of these newer technologies that
allow the automation of security monitoring, threat detection,
guard tours and even incident response.
Automation will allow operators to go beyond the antiquated
and reactive, “watch everything and do something” approach
into a focused, analytical mindset with technology that tells operators
when and where human attention is needed. Physical security
will rely on automation for improved detection and better
responses. We are already seeing robots used in active shooter
situations to save the lives of cops, and can expect new use cases
in robotics to allow us to perform higher-order work and do our
jobs more strategically.
Smarter, safer cities and buildings. Cities and buildings around
the world will become increasingly sophisticated, automated and
coordinated through more digital transformation; enabling safer,
cleaner, healthier and more environmentally efficient places to
live and work. Multi-metrics to analyze all of those IoT devices
and sensors will become more integrated into security systems
for buildings and high-traffic areas to more intelligently protect,
predict, and understand human patterns and behaviors in the
environment. The use of biometrics will also increase, including
more widespread adoption of facial recognition technology and
other “privacy-friendly” forms data, such as gait analysis that can
identify unique individuals.
Improved authorization models for zero-trust environments,
physical access governance, increased intelligence and further automation
are paving the future for a smarter, more private and secure
society. The future in 2020 and beyond looks brighter, safer
and more secure thanks to rapid advancements
in technology, and our willingness to embrace
the changes. The vision is clear: 2020 will be the
year of proactive security postures.
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of Security Today.