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Genetec shares its top physical security trends predictions for 2021

Genetec shares its top physical security trends predictions for 2021
Genetec shares its top physical security trends predictions for 2021
2020 has been one of the most unprecedented years in recent memory. However, the dark clouds of 2020 look destined to clear in 2021, with a return to normalcy likely. Daniel Lee, MD, APAC at Genetec shares some thoughts on where technology and the security industry are headed.

Following what has undoubtedly been the most challenging year in a generation, it is time to look forward to a new year. With a vaccine on the horizon, 2021 promises hope and a possible return to some normalcy. Here are some thoughts on where we think the security technology industry is headed. 

Innovative security solutions will help businesses thrive post pandemic

While the world remains optimistic for 2021, organizations will need to remain creative about how they use, update and redeploy their security systems across their facilities. This will allow them to start thinking more broadly about the role of physical security and what it can do beyond traditional applications to deliver more value. We have already seen proof of this resilience and resourcefulness over the last few months with many organizations quickly adapting to the new needs and challenges posed by the situation, and using their security technology as a strategic tool in the fight against the pandemic. And once the pandemic is finally in the rear-view mirror, we believe organizations will continue to look at their physical security technology and related data as strategic and potentially enterprise-shaping.

Businesses will focus on privacy protection

In an effort to keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations rushed to implement "fever detection" devices and other new systems without necessarily having the time to consider privacy implications. Public privacy concerns related to COVID-19 contact tracing and other social challenges will continue to grow. These sensitivities will require the physical security industry to address privacy head-on and find appropriate solutions. Rather than hindering the development of new technologies, we believe that privacy will prove to be a driving force in the pursuit of responsible and innovative design, encouraging forward-thinking, ethical developers to embrace Privacy by Design methodologies. This involves proactively embedding privacy into the design and operation of IT systems, networked infrastructure, and business practices from the first line of code all the way to the user interface. And in the physical security industry, building a software solution from the ground up with privacy in mind means that organizations won’t have to choose between protecting individual privacy and ensuring their physical security. Privacy should always be the default option rather than the other way round, and security technology developers who take it seriously will gain distinct advantages, but most critically, their customers’ trust. 

Cybersecurity risks will continue to rise 

While cybersecurity has been an issue for some time, it will unfortunately continue to be a vital concern in 2021. From schools and hospitals to private businesses, there’s been a rise in cyber-attacks over the last year. In Q3 of 2020 alone, Trends Micro reported that there were almost 4 million email threats and over 1 million hits on malicious URLs related to COVID-19. 

Much of this can be linked to the overnight shift to remote work, which left companies scrambling to keep business running while also trying to secure corporate assets. In today’s new reality, a secure IT perimeter no longer exists, and with little certainty on when people can resume office or campus life, schools, enterprises and governments will need to rethink their cybersecurity strategy and put measures in place to deter hackers and protect their organizations.  They will need to take decisive steps to strengthen their cyber posture, or risk undermining the safety of their intellectual property and expose sensitive data and personal information. Choosing trusted vendors and deploying physical security solutions that come with layers of cyber defense is critical. Security teams are well aware that built-in encryptions, multi-factor authentication, and password management are the first lines of defense. Beyond that, taking advantage of other features can improve cybersecurity posture. This includes having access to cybersecurity risk scoring, system vulnerability alerts, and automated reminders for firmware and hardware updates.

Greater focus on trust in the supply chain

Physical security technology has become an integral part of an organization’s IT strategy and is thankfully now under the same level of scrutiny as other elements of an organization’s technology stack. Some governments are already discouraging the use of certain vendor products, claiming possible trust and security vulnerabilities. End users, especially in the high-end enterprise space, are taking more time to scrutinize the manufacturers, suppliers and distributors they choose to work with. This includes asking vendors more pointed questions about how they manage emerging threats, how forthcoming they are about product vulnerabilities and their partner ecosystem, and what their data and privacy policies are. For a security solution provider to be considered a reputable, reliable partner to their customers, they are going to have to meet more stringent requirements as part of the procurement process.

Demand for hybrid cloud solutions will continue to grow

According to Forrester’s recent report entitled, Predictions 2021: Cloud Computing Powers Pandemic Recovery, global public cloud infrastructure will grow 35 percent to a market value of US$120 billion over the next year. The pandemic is largely responsible for this surging demand for cloud. As online usage and remote work spiked, a global shift towards digital transformation already underway greatly accelerated. Better than to merely survive, but thrive, physical security professionals will need to follow the lead of IT departments and make the move towards the cloud. In the coming year, more chief security officers will let go of the division between cloud and on-premises security systems and embrace a hybrid deployment model. This will allow them to implement specific systems or applications in the cloud while keeping existing on-premises systems.

With a hybrid cloud approach, security directors will become more agile in making decisions about how they can enhance scalability, redundancy, and availability to suit their organization’s evolving needs. They will also be able to quickly migrate to newer technologies, minimize hardware footprint, boost cybersecurity, and reduce costs. Cloud offerings need to become an essential option to quickly adapt to changes and ensure business continuity.
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