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A Year in Review: Physical Security Industry Trends That Stood Out

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At the start of 2020, security industry pros made some predictions on how the year would turn out. However, through no fault of their own, none of those really panned out. Instead, in 2020, we saw the rise of some physical security industry trends that no one could anticipate.

With everything moving from the physical world into the cyber one, the security industry was kind of shaken up. That transition led to some new trends emerging, and others fading into the background.

So let’s take a look at all the things that happened this year, why they’re so important, and what’s in store for the security industry.

The Events That Shaped the Industry in 2020

Unless you’ve been under a rock this past year, in which case, lucky you, you’ll know that 2020 was hit with a pandemic. That has impacted the physical security industry, as well as most others, in massive ways.

For starters, the biggest physical security systems manufacturers completely stopped their operations for a few months. Getting supplies in and out was almost impossible to do, and it was beyond expensive.

On the other hand, even though the supply was almost non-existent, the demand was bigger than ever. Companies and governments wanted to do remote monitoring, especially in all containment zones.

In addition to monitoring huge areas, people also wanted to implement new video surveillance technology to protect their businesses. They wanted to prevent thefts, burglaries, and unauthorized access in both commercial and residential areas.

Beside the pandemic, the biggest factors that influenced the physical security industry trends were:

  • Terrorist threats and attacks
  • Expansion of smart cities
  • Technological advancements

As things stand right now, we believe that all these trends will carry over into the future. That’s why, moving forward, it’s important to come up with strategies that will address all these things specifically.

Exploring All the Physical Security Industry Trends of 2020

Before we get into our predictions for the next year, and how we think it’ll all play out, let’s first reflect on 2020.

1. Vehicle-Ramming Attacks Continue

Even though most people spent the first couple of months of 2020 inside, we’ve seen a surge in vehicle-ramming attacks. Vehicle ramming is a terrorist tactic that’s been used for decades, but it shows no signs of stopping.

Recently, we talked about how operating different types of vehicles is one of the most important EP skills anyone can have. However, a big part of the security industry downplays it, which is why vehicle attacks are becoming so popular again.

So one of the biggest physical security trends this year was trying to fix that issue through better training. We expect that it’ll carry over into 2021, and it’s important to take note of it, no matter if you’re a security officer or own a training facility.

2. Third-Party Identity Management Is on the Rise

Physical identity and access management (PIAM) is quickly gaining a lot of popularity in both the physical and cybersecurity industries. The main reason behind the demand is that airports, energy plants, and big companies, in general, are all looking to tighten up their security.

However, instead of making their own security teams, companies want to outsource the job. Most of them want to find a single company to do employee and customer verification, as well as deal with giving and revoking access.

Nowadays, companies are looking for a single, centralized system that would handle the entire PIAM process. While implementing it at first might cost a pretty penny, it’s more than worth it in the long run.

Also, just like vehicle-ramming, cybersecurity, and advanced video surveillance, the PIAM trend shows no signs of stopping. So unless you want to fall behind, you need to get familiar with the technology and do it fast.

3. Drone Usage Is Soaring

In the year of social distancing, we’ve seen more people using drones than ever before. Drones prices have become much more accessible, which is in part why so many people are starting to use them. Also, learning how to operate drones and use them to your advantage has become really easy.

From a physical security point of view, drones are both a headache and a blessing. A single drone can patrol a huge area, and cover grounds that would normally take quite a few guards. So they’re making surveillance easier and more cost-effective.

But then, there’s the other side, and that’s the fact that competitors, terrorist groups, and just bad apples, in general, can use it against your business. That’s why it’s so important to have the proper laws and restrictions when it comes to using drones.
Physical Security Industry Trends

Which Physical Security Industry Trends Do We Predict for 2021?

We all have pretty high hopes when it comes to 2021, and the physical security industry trends that we expect to see. Here are our top three predictions for the following year, and how we think that they’ll all play out.

1. Ransomware Attacks Increase

One thing that companies all over the world realized during this pandemic is that their cybersecurity is, for the most part, terrible. Thanks to the fact that everyone was working from home, and using unsafe networks, ransomware attacks have skyrocketed.

The attackers have become smarter, and they’re switching up their tactics all the time. They’re extorting companies and individuals, and threatening to bring down entire systems.

That’s why we assume that one of the biggest physical security industry trends in 2021 will be learning how to deal with these attacks both online and offline.

2. Higher Demand for Security Personnel

A lot of the trends we’ve already mentioned require companies to invest in security and hire new staff. Also, a lot of them are investing in training and teaching their existing staff on how to deal with new threats.

So even though a lot of other industries seem to be struggling right now, it’s pretty much business as usual in the EP world. What’s more, a lot of companies are considering remote security workers, which is incredibly interesting.

Basically, what we’re trying to say is that, while there are certainly a lot of threats, there will also be a ton of opportunity in 2021.

3. Physical & Cybersecurity Intertwine

Physical and cybersecurity have always been two separate and distinct entities. Well, until now.

With all the technological improvements, a cyber-attack has real-life consequences. So the only way to create a truly comprehensive security system is to combine the best of both worlds.

Bottom Line

2020 caught everyone off guard, and no one really knew exactly what they were doing or how they should be doing it. We’ve seen a lot of threats and risks move from the offline world to the online one, but the industry still hasn’t quite caught up with it all just yet.

The physical security industry trends that are going to emerge in 2021 will definitely follow a lot of the ones already established in 2020. However, we can’t guarantee that newer, even scarier threats won’t rise up tomorrow. So make sure that you’re always keeping both eyes open, and you should be able to adapt just fine.

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