Physical Security, Between Pandemics And Cyber Security

Physical Security, Between Pandemics And Cyber Security

The digital acceleration imposed by the pandemic and the central role of physical security in managing the most delicate phases of the emergency has pushed cloud-based solutions and sensitivity to cyber risk. Physical security has not been used for a long time to protect people and assets: end users have a broader vision of how technology can add value, optimize, streamline and increase the core business.

This is the summary of the survey on over 2000 security professionals released by Genetec at the beginning of 2022 and entitled “State of physical security 2021: adapting to an uncertain future”.

The data was collected at the end of 2021, before geopolitics abruptly slowed down the prospects of a recovery that had started off well, with a much more optimistic scenario than in 2020: a higher budget increase than forecasts has, in fact, allowed several investments. in physical security solutions.

In 2021, not surprisingly, 56% of respondents reported that budgets remained unchanged or increased, and only 22% reported a contraction (in 2020, only 48% predicted that budgets would remain unchanged/increased, and 36% assumed a reduction). It should be emphasized that among those who indicated an increase in budgets in 2021, 80% quantified an increase between 10% and 50%.

Priorities change

The gradual return to normality has not prevented the physical security sector from adapting, perhaps permanently, to remote configuration, installation, and integration processes, which save time and costs on-site for both the end user and the system integrator. And this is despite the fact that the system integrators have declared that they have experienced remote work as a difficulty since a large part of their activity requires on-site presence. 

Go cloud, go

The pandemic has also accelerated the cloud adoption process, which was previously often opposed. The various lockdowns have led to a re-evaluation of the cloud, in particular, to remotely manage/monitor video, cameras, recordings, system status, and firmware/software patches. In fact, 25% of physical security environments are now cloud or hybrid, and for 40% of respondents, at least 25% are already cloud or hybrid, which means they have started the migration.

This is a significant leap forward from 2020. Obviously, the answers relate to company size: 37% of respondents from companies with 1000 employees or less indicated that at least 25% of their physical security environment is cloud or hybrid; for companies with over 1000 employees, the value rises to 45%. 

AAA professionals wanted 

Suppose it is true that the trend of cloud adoption will continue (47% of companies that have moved less than 50% of their security environment to the cloud intend to complete the migration). In that case, we need professionals with experience in the cloud and in networking: the absence of specific qualifications significantly impacts the adoption of the cloud, especially for smaller companies. 

Data management solutions

2/3 of respondents identify physical security and related data as “mission-critical,” but the perception of the value – and degree of use – of physical security data are directly proportional to the size of the business: the larger the company, the more he uses the data, the more he considers it vital. It is no coincidence that the possibility of investing in data management solutions to improve physical security features in the next 12 months is an answer selected by several respondents. 

What they like best

When asked, “what additional technologies have you implemented in the physical security environment of your company?”, In pole position, we find video analysis, perimeter protection solutions, visitor management systems, license plate recognition solutions, and finally, cybersecurity.

91% of respondents said they use both video surveillance and access control (the smaller companies understandably use only a protection measure), but 80% said they had adopted an integrated solution between video surveillance and access control systems from different vendors or unified video surveillance and access control solutions from the same manufacturer.

A growing value compared to 2020, the latter, which seems to indicate that end users and system integrators are asking for simplicity of management and maintenance on the entire system. 

The post-pandemic

The answers to the question “Which features do you prioritize in 2021?” show the abrupt transition from the initial phase of the pandemic, in which interest in solutions able to support visitor management, the implementation of government social distancing measures, and the improvement of remote management has rapidly grown, and 2021 Year in which – as was to be expected – the interest in temperature detection dropped significantly, with only 29% of respondents indicating it as a priority (they were 51% in 2020). 

In the future

And let’s get to the future: to the question, “in which solutions do you plan to invest in improving or enhancing your physical security environment in the next 12 months?”, The answers – in descending order of importance – include access control, video analysis, video surveillance, cybersecurity, perimeter protection, facial recognition systems, visitor management systems, license plate recognition systems, accident management systems, and last but not least, temperature reading technologies. The new entry, in the fourth position, of cyber security is interesting.

Cyber ​​security

And cybersecurity is indicated as the main challenge that companies must and will have to face. Remote working, hybridization of devices used, and a war characterized by a strong cyber component have, in fact, made companies more vulnerable to cybercrime. 36% of respondents, therefore, declare that they want to invest in cybersecurity tools to improve their physical security environment in the next 12 months.

When it comes to data protection measures, the use of secure passwords was the most common answer. Cyber-hardening of security hardware and increasing data confidentiality (e.g., encryption in transit and/or at rest) was the second most preferred response. Cybersecurity Best Practices Training establishes itself as a trend:

Cyber ​​security vs. cloud?

The cyber risk slows down the massive adoption of the cloud, particularly for financial institutions, transport, and public bodies. Cloud providers typically use components configured to be secure by default, guide users through the configuration phase, develop tools and dashboards to scan and assess the security level of a system, and provide support and assistance.

However, security must be a shared responsibility: the cloud provider takes care of the infrastructure and its maintenance, but the company then uses it and sets it up. 

Also Read : With AI, Even The Anti-Intrusion Becomes Smart

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