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physical security

Physical security incidents cost the world’s biggest firms $1 trillion in 2022

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Large global companies lost a combined $1 trillion in revenue in 2022 due to physical security incidents, while economic unrest is expected to be the greatest security-impacting hazard in the next 12 months, itself a significant increase on the prior year.

That according to a new report commissioned by Allied Universal, based on an anonymous survey of 1,775 chief security officers (CSOs), or those in equivalent roles, from large, global companies in 30 countries, with a combined annual revenue of more than $20 trillion, which also found that companies anticipate a surge in threats and hazards like social unrest, climate change, fraud and theft.

As a result, physical security budgets are predicted to increase significantly to keep people, property and assets safe. Security leaders intend to focus investments on advanced technology and providing security professionals with additional skills and training.

Fraud – deception intended to result in gain – is likely to be the biggest external threat over the coming year. The leaking of sensitive information is predicted to be the biggest internal threat. Dangers posed by hackers, protestors, spies and economic criminals are expected to soar.

“As the world’s leading security company, we commissioned this report for the benefit of the entire industry and the companies we protect. It comes at a time hen organizations across the globe are increasingly navigating more complex security hazards and threats. The research shows the impact of security threats on organizations is multidimensional – from the disruption of productivity to the loss of customers, to the potentially staggering financial impact,” said Steve Jones (pictured, above), Allied Universal’s global chairman and CEO.

One in four (25%) companies reported a drop in their corporate value following an external or internal security incident during the last 12 months.

In addition to CSOs, the report also surveyed 200 global institutional investors to understand the impact of security incidents on the value of publicly traded companies. Investors estimated an average 29% drop in stock price in the wake of a significant internal or external security incident in the last 12 months.

“Global businesses are facing increased security threats; a tight labor market globally; and rapidly changing technology that presents new risks and requires different skills. In addition, executive boards are grappling with balancing physical and cybersecurity alongside other priorities. The World Security Report helps our entire industry and the wider business community better understand and operate in the challenging, global and fast-moving security landscape,” said Ashley Almanza, executive chairman of G4S, Allied Universal’s international business.

Key findings from the World Security Report:

Security Threat and Incident Findings

  • Economic unrest was reported by 47% as the greatest security-impacting hazard in the next 12 months — up from 39% in the previous year.
  • Climate change events are on the rise and the second most concerning hazard, with 38% saying they may be impacted in the next year. This was followed by social unrest (35%), disruption to energy supplies (33%) and war or political instability (32%).
  • Leaking of sensitive information is expected to be the biggest internal threat in the next 12 months according to 36% of respondents.
  • Misuse of company resources or data was the most common internal incident with 35% of companies having experienced this already over the last 12 months.
  • Fraud is expected to be the biggest external threat in the next year, predicted by 25% of CSOs.
  • Fraud and phishing and social engineering were the most common external security incidents experienced in the last 12 months (23%).
  • The threat from two groups, subversives, hackers, protestors, or spies and economic criminals, are likely to soar, with 50% and 49% of respondents predicting they will be impacted by these groups, both up from 39% in the last year.

Security Budgets

  • Security budgets represented approximately $660 billion (3.3%) of global revenue at respondent companies in 2022.
  • Physical security budgets at 46% of respondent companies are set to significantly increase in the next 12 months.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is top of the agenda for future physical security technology investment, with 42% intending to invest in AI and AI-powered surveillance over the next five years.

The Future of Security Insights

  • Cyber threats that threaten physical security systems are challenging to operations according to nine out of 10 respondents.
  • CSOs reported a disconnect between physical security incidents and the importance placed on them at board level; nine in 10 CSOs said company leaders are more concerned about cyber than physical security.
  • Eight in 10 (84%) said recruitment of security professionals will be challenging over the next five years.
  • Nine in 10 (92%) said people skills are more important than physical attributes of strength in front-line security professionals.

8 steps to a physical security strategy

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

In the digital era, where cyber threats often dominate headlines, it’s crucial not to overlook the significance of physical security for UK businesses. Protecting tangible assets, from human resources to infrastructure and equipment, is equally vital. Here are the key elements of physical security that UK businesses should prioritise…

  1. Access Control:
    • Doors and Locks: Sturdy doors with high-quality locks are the first line of defence against unauthorized access.
    • Badge Systems: Swipe cards or biometric access can restrict access to specific areas within a facility, ensuring only authorised personnel can enter.
    • Visitor Management: This includes logging visitor details, providing temporary badges, and possibly escorting visitors at all times.
  2. Surveillance Systems:
    • CCTV Cameras: Strategically positioned cameras can deter criminal activity and provide evidence if an incident occurs.
    • Alarms: These alert the business to breaches, particularly out of hours, and can be connected to local police stations or private security firms.
  3. Lighting: Adequate lighting, especially during nighttime, can deter potential intruders. It’s important for entrances, exits, and other vulnerable areas to be well-lit.
  4. Perimeter Security: Fencing, security barriers, and gates can prevent unauthorized access. Combined with security personnel or electronic surveillance, it provides a robust line of defence.
  5. Security Personnel: Having security staff on-site can provide an immediate response to incidents. They also act as a visual deterrent to potential criminals.
  6. Regular Assessments and Drills: Regularly reviewing and updating security protocols is crucial. Conducting drills ensures that staff know how to respond in emergency situations, whether it’s a fire or an intruder threat.
  7. Data and Equipment Protection: Apart from cyber measures, physical security for data includes safes, lockable cabinets, and secure rooms for servers. Protecting equipment might mean tethering expensive devices or using lockable storage for valuable items.
  8. Integration with Cybersecurity: Physical security measures should align with cybersecurity efforts. For instance, server rooms should have heightened access controls, and procedures should be in place to prevent tailgating – where unauthorized individuals enter a building closely behind an authorised person.

For UK businesses, the importance of comprehensive physical security measures cannot be overstated. While digital threats are increasing, traditional threats have not disappeared. By addressing these key elements, businesses can safeguard their tangible assets and provide a safer working environment for their employees.

Are you planning your organisation’s Physical Security strategy? The Total Security Summit covers all the above and more!

The Essentials of Physical Security: The 8 pillars of a basic strategy

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

In a world where cyber threats garner much attention, the significance of physical security in safeguarding businesses cannot be understated. Physical security involves the use of multiple layers of protective measures to ensure the safety of personnel, assets, and information. This primer aims to detail the key aspects of physical security…

1. Physical Barriers: The first line of defence, physical barriers, deter, delay, and prevent unauthorised access. These include fences, walls, security doors, gates, and window security systems. The type and intensity of the barrier depend on the value of the assets protected and the potential threats.

2. Surveillance Systems: Surveillance technology, like CCTV cameras and security mirrors, allows for constant monitoring of a facility. This not only acts as a deterrent but also provides evidence in case of security breaches.

3. Access Control: Physical access control ensures only authorized individuals can enter certain areas. This can be managed through various means such as locks and keys, card readers, biometric systems, and electronic access control systems.

4. Lighting: Effective lighting is a simple but crucial aspect of physical security. Adequate lighting helps deter potential intruders, aids surveillance, and ensures safe movement for employees and visitors during low-light hours.

5. Security Personnel: Trained security personnel are an integral component of physical security. They can respond to situations, provide a human deterrent to potential intruders, and assist with the maintenance and operation of security systems.

6. Intrusion Detection Systems: These systems detect attempts to gain unauthorized access. They include motion detectors, glass break sensors, door contacts, and alarm systems.

7. Security Policies and Procedures: Physical security isn’t just about equipment and systems. Effective policies and procedures, such as visitor management, emergency response plans, and regular security audits, are equally important.

8. Layered Defence: The principle of layered defence, or defence in depth, involves multiple layers of security measures. If one measure fails, others still stand in the way of unauthorised access.

It’s essential to note that physical security needs vary from business to business, depending on factors like the size of the organisation, the nature of its assets, and the potential threats it faces.

As such, the development of a physical security strategy should involve a thorough risk assessment to identify vulnerabilities and determine the most effective combination of measures to address them.

Physical security is an indispensable aspect of an overall security strategy. By understanding its key components, businesses can protect their valuable assets, provide a safe environment for employees, and ensure their smooth operation.

Image by Republica from Pixabay

Could the physical security market be worth $171.4 Billion by 2028?

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The global physical security market size reached $116.8 billion last year and has been predicted to reach U$171.4 billion by 2028, equivalent to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4%.

That’s according to a report from IMARC Group, which says areas such as video surveillance, access control systems, biometrics, and analytics, are driving the growth of the market.

In addition, the growing availability of Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices, such as sensors, connected cameras, and smart locks providing real-time data, conducting remote monitoring, and enhancing situational awareness is offering what it calls a favourable market outlook.

The forecast is the latest in a steady stream predicting big growth for the physical security market, with Spherical Insights predicting a $209 billion valuation by 2032, while ResearchandMarkets expects a value of $216 billion by 2023.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

OPINION: The convergence of physical and cybersecurity: A new era of integrated protection?

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As the lines between physical and digital spaces blur, the once distinct realms of physical security and cybersecurity are converging. This intersection has ushered in a new era of integrated protection, reshaping our approach to securing assets, data, and people.

Historically, physical security and cybersecurity operated independently, each with its unique methods and tools. Physical security focused on preventing unauthorised access to tangible assets—buildings, infrastructure, and personnel—using tools like surveillance cameras, access controls, and security personnel. Conversely, cybersecurity focused on protecting digital assets, such as networks, systems, and data, from cyber threats.

However, the rapid digitalisation and IoT (Internet of Things) proliferation have made this separation untenable. As devices and systems become increasingly interconnected, vulnerabilities in one can affect the other. For instance, a hacker can compromise a physical security system by breaching a vulnerable network, enabling physical access to secured spaces. Likewise, physical access to a server can lead to a catastrophic data breach.

Recognising these intertwined risks, organisations are adopting a unified security approach. This approach combines physical and cybersecurity, coordinating their strategies, processes, and responses to mitigate risks effectively.

The benefits of this integrated approach are manifold. Firstly, it provides a comprehensive view of security, enabling organisations to identify and respond to threats promptly and effectively. Secondly, it enables correlation between physical and cyber events, which may reveal patterns or trends that might go unnoticed in separate silos.

Integrated security also encourages better communication and coordination among security teams. This fosters a shared understanding of the security landscape and facilitates collaborative problem-solving. Finally, the convergence can lead to cost efficiencies, as resources and tools can be shared across physical and cybersecurity teams.

Despite its benefits, the convergence of physical and cybersecurity comes with challenges. It necessitates a cultural shift within organisations, rethinking traditional security roles, and developing new skills. Additionally, it requires the integration of disparate security systems and technologies, which can be technically complex and expensive.

As physical and cybersecurity converge, organisations must embrace this new era of integrated protection. This involves not just adopting new technologies but also fostering a security-conscious culture that values both the physical and cyber domains. By doing so, organisations can protect their assets more effectively in a world where physical and cyber threats are increasingly interconnected.

The convergence of physical and cybersecurity is more than a trend – it’s a necessity in our digital age.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Predicting the future evolution of physical security

960 639 Stuart O'Brien

The physical security market is undergoing a rapid transformation, driven by advancements in technology and the growing need for robust security solutions. As we look ahead, it becomes evident that the future of physical security will be shaped by emerging trends and innovations. This article explores the likely evolution of the physical security market and the key factors that will drive its growth…

  1. Convergence of Physical and Cybersecurity

One of the most significant shifts we can expect in the future is the convergence of physical and cybersecurity. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices, the boundaries between physical and digital security are blurring. Integrated security systems that combine physical surveillance, access control, and cybersecurity measures will become the norm. This convergence will enable more comprehensive and holistic security solutions that address both physical and digital threats.

  1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will continue to play a pivotal role in the evolution of physical security. AI-powered analytics will enhance surveillance systems, enabling real-time threat detection and predictive analysis. Machine Learning algorithms will improve accuracy in facial recognition, object detection, and anomaly detection. AI-driven automation will streamline security operations, freeing up human resources for more strategic tasks.

  1. Advanced Biometric Solutions

Biometric solutions, such as fingerprint recognition and facial recognition, will witness significant advancements in the future. Improved accuracy, faster processing speeds, and better anti-spoofing techniques will make biometrics more secure and reliable. Biometric authentication will become more prevalent in access control systems, replacing traditional methods like access cards and passwords.

  1. Cloud-Based Security Systems

Cloud technology will continue to revolutionize the physical security market. Cloud-based security systems offer scalability, flexibility, and centralised management. They enable real-time monitoring, data storage, and remote access to security systems from anywhere, enhancing operational efficiency. Cloud-based solutions will also facilitate seamless integration with other technologies, such as IoT devices and data analytics platforms.

  1. Data Analytics and Predictive Insights

The future of physical security lies in harnessing the power of data analytics and predictive insights. Advanced analytics platforms will process vast amounts of data collected from various security systems, enabling proactive threat assessment and preventive actions. Predictive analytics will help identify patterns, detect anomalies, and predict potential security breaches. This proactive approach will enable organisations to stay one step ahead of threats and mitigate risks effectively.

  1. Enhanced User Experience and Integration

User experience and ease of integration will be crucial factors in the future evolution of physical security. User-friendly interfaces, mobile applications, and intuitive dashboards will empower users to manage and monitor security systems with ease. Seamless integration between different security technologies and third-party systems will enable a more comprehensive security ecosystem, fostering interoperability and maximising the effectiveness of security measures.

The future of the physical security market is poised to be transformative, with technology at its core. Convergence of physical and cybersecurity, AI-driven solutions, advanced biometrics, cloud-based systems, data analytics, and enhanced user experience will drive the evolution of physical security.

Organisations will need to embrace these emerging trends to adapt to evolving threats and safeguard their assets effectively. By embracing innovation, leveraging advanced technologies, and staying ahead of the curve, the future of physical security promises a safer and more secure environment for all.

All these trends and more will be explored at October’s Total Security Summit.

The transformative impact of AI on physical security

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionising various sectors, and one area where its impact is becoming increasingly significant is in the realm of physical security. From surveillance systems to access control, AI-powered solutions are reshaping how we safeguard our physical spaces…

Enhanced Surveillance

One of the primary applications of AI in physical security is in surveillance systems. Traditional closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras are being upgraded with AI algorithms that enable intelligent video analysis. AI-powered surveillance systems can detect and track suspicious activities, unauthorised access, and unusual behavior patterns. Through real-time monitoring and analysis, these systems can provide early warning alerts, minimising response times and enhancing overall security effectiveness.

Facial Recognition and Access Control

AI has also ushered in advancements in access control systems through the implementation of facial recognition technology. Facial recognition algorithms can accurately identify individuals, granting or denying access based on predetermined criteria. This technology enhances security by eliminating the vulnerabilities associated with lost or stolen access cards or passwords. It also allows for efficient management of access permissions, making it easier to track and control entry to restricted areas.

Predictive Analytics

By leveraging AI and machine learning algorithms, physical security systems can now employ predictive analytics to assess potential threats and vulnerabilities. These systems analyse vast amounts of data, including historical patterns, weather conditions, and social media feeds, to identify potential risks. With predictive analytics, security personnel can proactively respond to emerging threats and allocate resources more effectively, thereby preventing security breaches.

Autonomous Security Robots

AI-driven autonomous security robots are another noteworthy innovation in physical security. Equipped with sensors, cameras, and AI algorithms, these robots can patrol and monitor large areas autonomously, relieving security personnel of routine tasks. They can detect intrusions, collect real-time data, and transmit information to a central control center. These robots not only augment security capabilities but also provide a visible deterrent to potential wrongdoers.

Intelligent Incident Response

When security incidents occur, AI can play a vital role in expediting response times and minimising damage. AI algorithms can analyse data from multiple sources, such as security cameras, alarms, and sensors, to identify the nature and severity of an incident. This real-time analysis enables security personnel to make informed decisions promptly, facilitating swift responses and appropriate deployment of resources.

The integration of AI into physical security systems is revolutionising how we protect our physical spaces. From enhanced surveillance and facial recognition to predictive analytics and autonomous security robots, AI brings numerous benefits to the field of physical security. By leveraging the power of AI, organisations can bolster their security measures, mitigate risks, and respond more effectively to threats.

However, it is essential to address ethical considerations and ensure the responsible and transparent use of AI in physical security to strike the right balance between safety and privacy. As AI continues to evolve, we can expect even more innovative applications and advancements that will shape the future of physical security for the better.

Demand for physical security to hit $209bn

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The Global Physical Security market is predicted to grow from $112.67 billion in 2022 to $209.52 billion by 2032, equivalent to a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.4% over the period.

A new report from Spherical Insights classes physical security as the measures put in place to protect physical assets, such as buildings, equipment, and people, from unauthorised access, damage, theft, or other physical harm.

So that’s access controls, surveillance systems, locks, barriers, and alarms, as well as policies and procedures designed to minimise the risks of physical threats.

The researched concludes that the services segment in the physical security market is expected to grow due to the increasing complexity of physical security technology and the need for specialised expertise in installing, configuring, and maintaining these systems.

Additionally, it says many organisations are seeking to outsource their physical security needs to third-party service providers to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. This creates opportunities for service providers to offer a range of services such as installation, integration, maintenance, and consulting, and to develop long-term relationships with clients.

Based on region, Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing region in the physical security market due to its rapidly developing economy, increasing urbanisation, and rising security concerns.

The region has a large population and a significant number of businesses that require robust security solutions. The growth of smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT) in the region is driving demand for integrated security systems that can be centrally managed and monitored.

Additionally, the region has a high adoption of cloud-based security solutions, particularly in countries such as China and India. The increasing awareness and adoption of advanced security technologies, such as artificial intelligence and analytics-based solutions, are further propelling the growth of the physical security market in this region.

Some of the major players identified in the report include Bosch Security Systems, Honeywell International, Johnson Controls, Axis Communications, Pelco by Schneider Electric, Genetec, Avigilon Corporation, Hanwha Techwin, FLIR Systems, Assa Abloy AB, Tyco International, Hikvision Digital Technology, Dahua Technology, Siemens AG, and NEC Corporation.

Physical security market set for 6.8% growth this decade

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The global physical security market size is expected to reach $216.43 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 6.8% over the next seven years.

ReseachAndMarkets’ latest study says increasing awareness about securing the perimeter in developing economies has led to a rise in deployment of IP-based cameras in residential societies as well as commercial complexes and offices. Furthermore, increasing terror threats, border disputes, and refugee crises drive the adoption of stringent safety measures, thereby driving the market growth.

For instance, in February 2022, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., Ltd, the world’s prominent manufacturer of innovative video surveillance systems and solutions, introduced the TandemVu PTZ camera line, which combines PTZ and bullet camera capabilities into a single unit.

These cameras can monitor broad regions and zoom in on individual security incidents while simultaneously maintaining attention on both viewpoints. Further, this camera would be deployed in commercial complexes and residential societies to reduce terror threats and adopt more physical security on the premises.

The increasing convergence of IT and OT technologies have potentially increased concern towards inbuilt security operations that are added into a network. As network video recorders (NVRs) and IP-based surveillance camera are network devices, they are vulnerable to become a target vector to get into a system.

Furthermore, camera & biometrics offer robust physical security benefits. However, in a growing threat ecosystem, these devices are expected to evolve in order to enable safety for deployment in a critical infrastructure asset’s network.

Thus, securing the converged IT & OT network is emerging as one of the top priorities for several companies. For instance, in November 2021, InsightCyber Group, Inc., a company that offers physical, cyber systems to protect businesses, built an AI-driven physical security device for various industries such as transportation, manufacturing supply chain, and others.

Key highlights from the report include:-

  • Video surveillance system led the market in 2022.
  • System integration is anticipated to dominate the market through the forecast period owing to the factors such as stringent regulations and demand for the cost-effective systems
  • The residential segment is predicted to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period owing to the measures taken by the consumers to protect their assets from potential threats
  • North America dominated the market in 2022 and is estimated to remain dominant throughout the forecast period. The presence of key physical security market vendors such as Cisco Systems, Inc., Honeywell International, Inc., and Pelco is primarily responsible for the region’s market growth. Businesses across the region are increasingly deploying physical security solutions to prevent identity theft, cyber-attacks, and commercial spying, as well as to ensure data security and privacy to facilitate business continuity

Sustainability now a key issue for security industry

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Sustainability, Mobile IDs and a changing workforce are among top concerns being reported by security professionals, according to a new study.

HID’s State of the Security Industry Report, gathered responses from 2,700 partners, end users, and security and IT personnel across a range of titles and organization sizes representing over 11 industries.

Conducted in the Autum of 2022, the survey reveals five common threads, as follows:

  1. Nearly 90% of respondents acknowledge sustainability as an important issue

End users are increasingly demanding that suppliers provide footprint transparency in terms of their operations, product sourcing and research and development practices, with 87% of respondents stating that sustainability ranks as “important to extremely important.” Mirroring this trend, 76% said they have seen the importance of sustainability increasing for their customers.

To support this growing demand, security teams are leveraging the cloud and the Internet of Things, even more, to optimize processes and reduce resources. Additionally, new products and solutions are being strategically developed to address sensible energy usage, waste reduction and resource optimization.

  1. Most organizations still need to fully embrace identity “as-a-service” (IDaaS) to support hybrid work

The majority of survey respondents—81% of them—stated they are offering a hybrid work model. As an example, 67% of respondents state that multifactor authentication and passwordless authentication are most important to adapting to hybrid and remote work, while 48% point to the importance of mobile and digital IDs.

Interestingly, the survey also reveals almost half of the organizations aren’t quite ready to implement a comprehensive IDaas strategy.

  1. Digital IDs and mobile authentication to propel many more mobile access deployments

Identification and authentication are more commonly completed via mobile devices, including smartphones and wearables. The growing popularity of digital wallets from major players such as Google, Apple and Amazon is a key driver of this trend. And expanded capabilities allow smartphone users, for example, to add keys, IDs and digital documents directly in the wallet app. These include, but are not limited to, drivers’ licenses in eight states, verifiable COVID-19 vaccination information, employee badges, student IDs and hotel room keys.

Commercial real estate companies (40%) are outpacing other verticals as large commercial real estate firms are leveraging mobile access as part of their larger tenant experience apps, according to the HID survey.

  1. Nealy 60% of respondents see the benefit of contactless biometrics

Biometric technologies represent a major break from more conventional means of access control. Using biometrics as an additional authenticating factor (e.g., biometric scans to verify an individual’s physical identity) can help organizations eliminate unauthorized access and fraud. The importance of this trend is exemplified in the survey data, which shows that 59% of respondents are currently using, planning to implement, or at least testing biometric technologies in the near future.

  1. Supply chain issues continue to be a concerning factor, but optimism begin to emerge

According to the survey, 74% of respondents say they were impacted by supply chain issues in 2022, although 50% are optimistic that conditions will improve in 2023. Most affected are commercial real estate companies, with 78% citing supply chain problems as their main concern.

More than two-thirds of organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees indicate that they were highly impacted by supply chain issues in 2022, but they are also the most optimistic that these issues will resolve in 2023.