Physical security industry embraces new technologies

Genetec, technology provider for unified security management, public safety and business intelligence, has released the results of its study on the state of the physical security industry. The survey asked more than 2,000 executives worldwide about how the role of physical security has evolved in 2021 and how organizations have adapted to the changing conditions.

The role of physical security is changing

Physical security is no longer perceived solely as a risk mitigation tool. Rather, it now plays a central role in the digital transformation of companies. Over two-thirds (69%) of respondents identified physical security and the data it generates as “mission-critical”. Larger organizations in particular are increasingly recognizing the value of the data collected by their physical security systems: just over 46% said they use their security systems to improve overall business efficiency, productivity and asset optimization.

Some participants individually indicated that they plan to invest in data management solutions over the next 12 months to advance or enhance the functionality of their physical security infrastructure. The survey also revealed that an increasing proportion of organizations (36%) are investing in unified solutions to facilitate maintenance, visibility and data collection across all deployed systems to optimize functionality and operations. In last year’s study, only 31% were planning such investments. More than half of respondents (51%) confirmed that investments in video analytics were made to improve the functionality of installed assets and to digitally transform business processes.

“Even before the pandemic, physical security was playing an increasingly important role in business intelligence and operations. Over the past two years, it has proven to be a strategic asset to address a variety of diverse challenges,” said Pervez R. Siddiqui, vice president of offerings and transformation at Genetec. “Once we emerge from the pandemic, organizations will need to address three distinct trends: changes in the physical dimension of work as workspaces increasingly transform, the automation of everyday processes to increase productivity and employee retention, and interest in Board level to increase operational resilience through integrated risk management.”

Cloud migration is picking up speed

Cloud-based solutions have seen a boost amid the pandemic and the consequent limited access to physical locations. Such cloud solutions enable companies to remotely monitor video streams, control cameras, keep an eye on system health, perform remote maintenance and update firmware/software. The survey found that 45% of the largest companies (with more than 1,000 employees) are already using cloud solutions. This is a significant increase from 2020, when just 26% of respondents said they had started using cloud solutions. Fully 94% confirmed that they plan to use cloud or hybrid cloud solutions in the long term.

“The adoption of cloud and hybrid cloud solutions is increasing rapidly in the security industry,” said Christian Morin, vice president of product engineering and CSO at Genetec. “In the past, many people responsible for physical security have hesitated when it came to using cloud-based solutions. However, they now understand the benefits and how such solutions can help them better utilize their resources to achieve their business goals while minimizing the complexity of operational processes.”

Investments in access control are increasing

When asked what type of solutions they plan to invest in over the next 12 months to improve their physical security systems, more than half of respondents (52%) named access control. “Traditional access control systems are based on outdated technologies that open the door to cyber threats,” said Thibaut Louvet, Director Access Control Product Group at Genetec. “It’s reassuring that companies are now taking the necessary next step to modernize their access control systems and make them cyber-secure.”