Video and IoT Megatrends to Accelerate into 2020
It makes sense to understand and be ready for questions and concerns that will arise
- By Tom Galvin
- Dec 01, 2019
As we wind down 2019 and
look forward to a new
decade, it is time to reflect
upon the year and
the megatrends that have
started to influence video surveillance and
the physical security industry. End users
are planning for 2020 and falling into the
December business lull. Reports are being
pulled, the last dollars of budget are
scrambling to be spent and all the new
product ideas you have gently put into
your customer’s head are waiting to see the
light of day at budget planning meetings.
As the end users plan for 2020, it makes
sense to understand and be ready for the
questions and concerns that will arise in
customer board meetings. What should we
spend our budget on in 2020? What is the
next big thing that will help push the company
to the next level? And, most importantly,
what portion of the budget does my
department have in 2020?
Throughout 2019 my conversations
with customers have consistently involved
several themes and trends that I expect to
have a significant impact in 2020 physical
Cybersecurity for IoT
Much has been written about cybersecurity.
The Security Industry Association
identified cybersecurity and its impact
on our industry as the number one megatrend
in 2019. Expect this trend to continue
Threat actors continue to target IoT
devices in enterprises to attack business
infrastructure. Mirai groups are targeting
business IoT devices and more than 30
percent of Mirai denial-of-service attacks
are going after enterprise IoT devices.
The threats continue to evolve so it is
not surprising that both IT and physical
security integrators continue to struggle to
keep up with best practices and the challenge
to hire the right people in a very
competitive labor market for technical
skills. Many integrators simply ignore the
topic because they do not know how to
talk about it.
Automated tools are the answer. These
emerging tools can deploy best practices
for IoT hardening without requiring significant
expertise. Such tools can provide
a complete inventory of assets, secure the
assets and then monitor for compliance.
Reports to the end user provide assurance.
Integrators who adopt hardening tools
as part of their standard practices will be
able to put their customers at ease and ensure
that systems are secured from the “asbuild”
implementation and throughout
the life cycle of the system.
Device Monitoring and
The proliferation of IP cameras and other
IoT devices for security applications has
generated demand for assurance services
that can track physical security assets,
monitor their performance and provide
lifecycle management. These services can
be implemented with software platforms
that provide remote connectivity for realtime
monitoring and management.
Security professionals get the benefit of
assuring system compliance with security
protocols, ensuring system performance
and uptime while reducing maintenance
costs. These services provide an RMR service
opportunity for resellers to remotely
monitor end-user installations and reduce
costly truck rolls by remotely detecting
and proactively troubleshooting issues.
The government has taken actions that
have significantly disrupted supply chains
for physical security products. The most
visible action was the McCain National
Defense Authorization Act that prohibits
the purchase of Chinese cameras by the
government. In addition to prohibiting
camera purchases, this new law prohibits
the use of electronic components from
specific Chinese companies. A growing
number of commercial buyers have taken
note and are applying similar restrictions
on their purchasing, requiring suppliers to
provide written statements of compliance
with the McCain Act.
Separately, the ongoing trade disputes
between the United States and China have resulted in tariffs that are creating widespread cost impacts
on the industry. The supply-chain distribution has impacted the
development, manufacturing and assembly of electronic products.
Many finished electronic goods, even those produced outside
of China, are likely to include some components that are
produced in China and subject to tariffs that increase the cost
There is simply a growing awareness of Chinese content in
electronic products. In October 2018, Bloomberg published a
controversial article (The Big Hack) that alleged Chinese hacking
of a popular motherboard design used in servers. The manufacturer
(and its major customers) disputed the claim, but the net
result was that many IT departments immediately began internal
audits looking for these server products with some companies
banning them from their networks.
These events are having an impact not only on government
purchases but are trickling into commercial sourcing decisions as
many corporations are now carefully specifying what devices are
permitted on their networks.
End users are asking for the cloud. CIO’s and CSOs will continue
to migrate more “iron” off-premise and look for cloud-based services
for video, access control, device management and monitoring.
Similar to the transition from CCTV to IP cameras, the initial
barriers of cost, complexity and connectivity will eventually
erode for cloud computing to become common-place in physicalsecurity
The tools and services already exist for security integrators to
remotely monitor and manage security devices such as cameras,
NVRs and access control panels. Access control software can be
hosted in the cloud.
Cloud-based video management services are emerging, however,
hosting commercial surveillance video remains a challenge
to scale due to upstream bandwidth and the large storage requirements.
Video privacy also remains a concern. In the near term,
most video storage architectures will likely remain on the premise,
with emerging hybrids of premise storage hardware combined
with cloud archiving for event video and analytics.
Cloud-based services offer the advantage of controlled-and
-efficient software updates for both application software and device
firmware. New features and security updates can be quickly
deployed. Integrators can reduce the costs of maintenance and
“truck rolls” while enjoying recurring monthly revenue.
So, get ready for 2020! Cybersecurity, China, cloud and the opportunity
to remotely manage and service your
security systems will be themes that continue to
influence how we design, deploy and manage security
solutions as we enter a new decade.
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of Security Today.