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2021 ‘refocuses priorities’ for physical security

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The realities of COVID-19, and the subsequent shift to work at home, has emphasized the value of technology that can provide greater insight and control.

That’s according to results from Genetec’s ‘Physical Security in EMEA 2021’ report, based on insights from over 1,500 physical security professionals.

The report takes a closer look at how physical security teams across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are leveraging technology to manage both short term needs and long-term priorities.

In the UAE, according to a recent report from Mimecast, 81% of respondents had received specialised work from home related cybersecurity training since the start of the pandemic – above the global average of 64%.

As a result, video analytics, access control and identity management were all identified as strategic technologies for 2021.

Cyrille Becker, Managing Director of Europe at Genetec, said: “Last year we saw a seismic shift in the way companies approach security. The access control boom within facilities, showed that the physical security industry is capable of streamlining innovative solutions—particularly when there’s a demand for enhanced safety. As we enter a new chapter, the industry must continue to adapt to changing requirements and invest in the latest enabling solutions to help make our workplaces safer, healthier and more secure.”

Cybercrime is primed to reach record heights in 2021, with the rise of work-from-home and the growing adoption of IoT, as 48% of MEA respondents believe in the prioritisation of the implementation of better business continuity plans. Against this backdrop, 67% of respondents are planning to prioritise the improvement of their cybersecurity strategy in 2021.

Christian Morin, Vice President of Cloud Services and CSO at Genetec, said: “The rise of cybercrime has highlighted cyber and physical security measures can no longer be treated as separate conversations. Physical security professionals must partner with their counterparts in IT to understand the true limits of the security perimeter and mitigate against risk. This requires solidifying a resilient cyber-physical security framework, to ensure trusted devices are integrated in the network and subsequently configured, updated and managed throughout their operational life.”

Physical security departments have traditionally been slower to adopt the cloud, however, the survey results indicate the situation is rapidly changing. With almost two thirds of respondents reporting the pandemic has somewhat (51%) or greatly (12.5%) accelerated their cloud strategy in relation to physical security. This can be linked to the move towards Smart Cities, a rapid transition which has been witnessed within the Middle East, a region investing greatly into a new age of digitalisation.

In January 2021 Genetec EMEA surveyed physical security professionals based in Europe, Middle East and Africa – you can download the full report here.

2021 physical security buying trends revealed

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Business Continuity, Risk Assessment & Crisis Communications top the list of solutions the UK’s leading Security professionals are sourcing in 2021.

The findings have been revealed by the Total Security Summit and are based on delegate requirements this year’s recent event.

Delegates registering to attend the event were asked which areas they needed to invest in during 2021 and beyond.

A significant 50% are looking to invest in Business Continuity, 43% each for Risk Assessment and 40% for Crisis Communications.

Just behind were Risk Management (73%) and Smartcards/ID Cards (34%).

% of delegates at the Total Security Summit sourcing certain products & solutions (Top 10):

Business Continuity 48.6%
Risk Assessment 42.9%
Crisis Communications 40.0%
Risk Management 37.1%
Smartcards / ID Cards 34.3%
Alarms Systems 31.4%
Facial Recognition 31.4%
Conflict Management 31.4%
Cameras 31.4%
CCTV Maintenance 31.4%

To find out more about the Total Security Summit, visit https://totalsecuritysummit.co.uk.

Hosted physical security adoption given ‘major boost’ by uptake in cloud

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New research into the impact of COVID-19 on physical security purchasing decisions has revealed a sharp increase in the necessity/urgency for businesses to adopt hosted video surveillance (VSaaS) and access control (ACaaS) solutions.

While 70% of 1000 senior decision makers in IT, security, FM and HR roles agree this to be the case, 78% also anticipate their organisations’ use of cloud technologies to increase in the future as a result of COVID-19.

The independent survey, commissioned by hosted security provider Morphean, revealed that over three-quarters (76%) of senior managers in UK, Germany and Sweden have increased their use of video conferencing (e.g. Microsoft Teams); 65% have increased their use of office applications (e.g. Microsoft 365); and 70% of those in the security sector are now strongly inclined towards cloud adoption.

51% say their company is currently using a cloud-based service for video surveillance (VSaaS) and/or access control (ACaaS). This is an increase of 3% over 2019 (48%) and broadly reflects projected growth in the physical security market from USD $93.5b in 2020 to USD $120.3b by 2025 at a CAGR of 5.2%. The accelerating adoption of hosted solutions is buoyed by its low cost set up, flexible scalability and demand for real-time and remote access to security data.

Analytics will drive adoption say 95%

For the security professional already working with cloud services, the growth in connected digital devices through the IoT is resulting in a growing appetite for physical security, such as network cameras, to enhance existing IT systems and assist business intelligence gathering. 95% agree that if an existing security system could deliver insights beyond security to assist decision making (i.e. occupancy or test and trace analytics), it would influence adoption.

82% say flexible and remote working will grow 

More flexibility in working locations is the benefit respondents are most likely to identify from moving business functions to the cloud (50%), followed by easier collaboration (44%); more cost-effective (44%); safer / better security (38%). 82% anticipate the levels/frequency of remote workers and flexible working in their organisations to be higher post-pandemic and in the longer term than they were pre-pandemic.

Security will need to be enhanced to facilitate greater flexibility in worker patterns. An access control solution which is linked to HR records, for example, can check the swipe of an access card against staff records. A staff member who is flagged as being on leave, absent or no longer employed will trigger an automated alert to the relevant personnel. Surveillance cameras also provide secondary authentication through visual clarification of an individual’s identity.

The ‘Landscape Report 2020/21: Hosted Security adoption in Europe is the third study of its kind by Morphean, and facilitates a better understanding of market trends with comparative data from 2018 and 2019. Other key findings revealed by the study include:

  • 78% anticipate organisational use of cloud technologies to increase in the future as a result of COVID-19. The security sector reflected a strong inclination towards cloud adoption (70%).
  • IT Services (52%) and Commercial Offices (49%) are the two sectors that anticipated the greatest degree of change in their organisation’s use of cloud technology.
  • 73% of managers believe their organisations are more inclined to adopt cloud as a result of their governments’ responses to COVID-19 – UK (74%), Germany (71%) and Sweden (73%).
  • 27% said physical security was optimised in their companies, a rise of 4% on 2019 (23%). The retail sector was least likely to say that physical security was optimised (19%).
  • VSaaS/ACaaS uptake shown to be more prevalent in Sweden with 59% already utilising such services, with 34% in UK and 31% in Germany considering it.

Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO of Morphean SA, said: “The results highlight a hosted physical security market that will see strong growth in 2021 as cloud applications are proven to deliver business continuity in challenging times. At the height of the lockdown, many business premises were unoccupied and potentially vulnerable, but remote monitoring and maintenance made possible by hosted security were a welcome advantage. We also saw a spike in demand for frictionless access control enabling a totally hands-free experience and negating the need for physical contact. Business leaders will now be considering the learnings from the past year and looking to apply them to boost productivity, streamline costs and make organisations more agile.

“For the physical security reseller, the study will demonstrate that hosted security solutions must play a major part in expanding their offering to a wiser customer base. Cloud-enabled physical security solutions represent an investment into improving securityand operations, a chance to forge new business relationships, and an opportunity to embrace future proof technologies in preparation for whatever challenges the future might hold.”

Security software will be worth $45.5bn this year

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The digital transformation accelerated by the pandemic and the growing number of data breaches and cyberattacks has forced online users, companies, and organizations to increase their spending on security software solutions.

According to data presented by StockApps.com, global security software revenues are expected to hit $45.5bn in 2021, a 20% increase in two years.

For the purposes of the study, it says the security software market includes all software solutions that aim to protect individual computing devices, networks, or any other computing-enabled device. It includes antivirus software, management of access, data protection and security against intrusions, and any other system-level security risks, both in local installation and cloud service.

StockApps says recent years have witnessed a massive adoption of these solutions, driven by the surge of eCommerce, huge technology developments including AI and IoT, and the rising number of connected devices.

In 2016, the entire market was worth $27bn, revealed the Statista survey. In the next two years, revenues surged by more than 40% to $38.1bn.

The entire market maintained its steady growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with millions of people working and educating from home. The TrustRadius 2020 survey of software buyers and users revealed that 41% of organizations increased their security software spending amid pandemic. 

Statistics show the market revenue jumped by 7% year-over-year to $41bn in 2020. This figure is expected to rise by $4bn in 2021. However, the following years are set to witness a surge in the adoption of software security solutions, with revenues jumping to more than $61bn by 2025.

In global comparison, the United States represents the leading security software market expected to generate $22.8bn, or 50% of revenues this year. Statista data indicate the US security software revenues jumped by 20% in the last two years, while the unified market is set to reach $30.5bn value by 2025.

With $2.3bn in revenue or almost ten times less than the leading United States, Germany ranked as the second-largest security software market globally. The United Kingdom, Japan, and China follow with $2.2bn, $2.1bn, and $1.9bn in revenue, respectively.

Revealed: Which Area in the UK Has the Most CCTV?

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Flogas, have come up with the Escapists’ Paradise* —  a list of the most private cities in the UK. After reviewing 60 UK cities, the LPG suppliers rated each on the number of CCTV cameras which are publicly owned in each area, the population of each area, where the terms ‘secluded’ and ‘hidden’ are most frequently used on TripAdvisor, and how connected and accessible each area is.

Our focus is on CCTV and which cities in the UK are home to the most security cameras. Using a system where each of the 60 areas are given an overall score out of 100, with 0 meaning a city has a higher number of security cameras, the following UK destinations are revealed as the top five on the list. 

Escapists’ Paradise – CCTV cities

1.    London: 0/100)

Topping the list, with a score of 0 for CCTV, is of course, London. As the capital city of England, London and its 32 boroughs are home to the most security cameras. With the responsibility of being the largest city in the country, also comes the responsibility to be the safest, at least from the point of view of protection in the form of video footage that is recorded 24/7.

It’s estimated that there’s one CCTV camera for every 14 people in The Big Smoke, which is approximately 628,000 security cameras. 

2.    Birmingham (87/100)

Closely following London in terms of security cameras is Birmingham – the second largest city in the UK. Although it’s no surprise to see them take second place, the fact they scored 87 compared to London’s 0, may well be a talking point. 

In 2018, Birmingham was deemed the most unsafe city in the UK according to research that surveyed 2,000 people. But with Covid-19 still the main concern for residents, it could be the lack of a face mask that sees more CCTV installed within the city. 

In the same year it was estimated that there would be 100,000 CCTV cameras in Birmingham by 2020. In the city centre, there’s approximately 380 different security cameras, with 27 public space cameras operating within the city centre. 

3.    Liverpool (89/100)

In third place, we have Liverpool. Famed for its music scene and football clubs, the city situated on Merseyside is just behind Birmingham when it comes to CCTV use. It’s interesting to see Liverpool this high up, considering it’s the sixth most populated urban city in the UK – based on 2019 figures. 

Above other urban areas, like Leeds and Manchester for CCTV, the city is a hotspot for tourists, which may be behind it’s greater focus on security cameras – although nothing in comparison to London. 

Figures in 2016 suggested that 352 cameras were operated in Liverpool, with this number likely to increase as the years go by. 

4.    Nottingham (90/100)

Nottingham, with a population of just under 800,000 residents, is fourth on the list. To be more precise, there are 198 cameras covering Nottingham City. 164 of these are monitored with operatives in direct communication with Nottinghamshire Police.  The remaining 34 require the operator to dial into the camera to view and airtime is used for live viewings.

These are important for local authorities and their partnerships to address crime, anti-social behaviour and improve security.

5.    Sheffield (91/100)

The last destination on our round-up is Sheffield. The Steel City as its known. Also Famous for Sean Bean, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, the city situated in South Yorkshire is part of “God’s own country”.

The only Yorkshire location in the top five, Sheffield scores 91 out of 100, meaning it takes advantage of CCTV usage, but with a population of 730,000 it isn’t as reliant as London. 

An article from 2018 states that 102 active cameras were in operation within the city of Sheffield.  

And that is the top five cities in the UK with the most CCTV. If you were wondering where is in last place, it’s St. David’s in Wales — with a population of 1,600 and a score of 100 on the Escapists’ Paradise list for security cameras. 

*All the data can be downloaded at The Escapists Paradise


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Don’t worry if you missed last week’s BlueFort and Forcepoint webinar ‘Uncover The Hidden Risks Of Shadow IT’ – You can watch the entire session again online!

The number of people working remotely has tripled recently. This shift in culture comes a shift in risk. Staff may have the best intentions when they use personal devices, new software and emerging applications to get their jobs done more efficiently – but the use of unapproved IT resources creates vulnerabilities and opens you up to security breaches.

In the 20 minute webinar, BlueFort Security‘s Pre-Sales Director Josh Neame and Forcepoint‘s Senior Sales Engineer Alistair Mills discuss the risks and rewards of shadow IT.

“We’re seeing a lot more interest in issues surrounding shadow IT because of the current COVID-19 climate – a lot more companies are moving their IT into the cloud, which means there’s been a resurgence in shadow IT and a corresponding need for the relevant tools for monitoring,” said Neame.

“The pandemic means we’ve seen a rush to digital services as organisations look to plug the physical gaps created by their workforces operating remotely,” said Mills. “There’s suddenly a huge number of collaboration platforms being used, both for internal comms and with external partners – as employees we expect our IT and security departments to allow us to use those solutions in order to help get our jobs done.”

In the session, Mills and Neame drill down into the issues surrounding shadow IT, which they define as: ‘IT solutions and systems created and applied inside companies and organisations without their authorisation‘. Specifically, they look at:

  • The threats and potential rewards Shadow IT creates for your business
  • Identifying which employees are using unapproved IT resources and which resources are being used
  • Getting full visibility of the extent of Shadow IT within your company
  • Taking control of your IT landscape 

Watch the entire session again here:

WEBINAR: Uncover the hidden risks of shadow IT

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The number of people working from home has tripled since March 2020, and 84% of IT managers anticipate broader or even permanent WFH programmes.

With this shift in culture comes a shift in risk. Your staff may have the best intentions when they use personal devices, new tools and emerging applications to get their jobs done more efficiently – but the use of unapproved IT resources creates unmonitored vulnerabilities and opens you up to security breaches.

One third of successful attacks on enterprise businesses, target data that’s held in unsanctioned IT resources

Join BlueFort and Forcepoint for a 30 minute webinar on 17th September at 3pm which will cover:

  • The threats and potential rewards Shadow IT creates for your business
  • Identify which employees are using unapproved IT resources and which resources are being used
  • Get full visibility of the extent of Shadow IT within your company
  • Take control of your IT landscape 

Sign up is here: https://www.bluefort.com/news/events/uncover-the-hidden-risks-of-shadow-it/

What business continuity lessons can be learned from disaster movies?

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By Chris Butler, Lead Principal Consultant, Resilience & Security, Sungard Availability Services

Disruption, a word which many businesses are very much used to now, can often have disastrous effects on productivity, output, company reputation, and ultimately the bottom line. On the other hand, that which we would call a ‘disaster’ in the enterprise world in most cases pales in comparison to the sensational disaster scenarios we’re used to seeing on the silver screen. 

For example, a cyber-attack which steals and sells user data could potentially have devastating consequences for scores of businesses and consumers alike, but doesn’t quite evoke the same feelings of excitement as a full-scale alien invasion or the impending impact of a planet-sized meteor. 

On the same note, in today’s world of hyper-extended supply chains, unexpected periods of application service downtime can send shockwaves of disruption around the world in a matter of minutes. While this scenario probably strikes fear in the hearts of supply chain specialists, zombie apocalypses or the rampaging of a giant, man-eating shark can arguably evoke these emotions amongst a much broader audience.

But while the forms of enterprise and Hollywood ‘disasters’ are clearly poles apart, many themes remain the same: outsider threats, technology problems, leadership loss, communication breakdown, environmental change, etc. Here we look past the special effects and extract the core business continuity themes which lie behind our favourite disaster movie scenarios. 

Don’t let individuals get lost in space

For those used to working in office environments, the future is likely to be characterised by more working from home or from other remote locations. Video conferencing and collaboration apps have worked well to emulate the office environment, but a sudden break in their functionality can cause critical communication structures to break down entirely, leaving individuals cut-off from their teams. 

In Gravity (2013), an unexpected incident leaves astronauts stranded in lower earth orbit with no team, no means of communicating with ground control, and no shuttle to take them back to earth. This is an extreme example of how people are at their most vulnerable when they are isolated, and can even start to panic or act irrationally when cut off from the rest of their team. It is for this reason that cyber-attack methods such as phishing and ransomware target isolated users, both of which saw a spike in usage as many countries went into lockdown.  

Organisations simply can’t afford to leave their workforce stranded in space and expect them to make their own way home. Disasters almost always scatter or raise barriers between people, therefore it’s important for individuals to be made aware of contingencies for communication disruption scenarios ahead of the fact. This should comprise spreading awareness of emergency contact chains and back-up communication systems to keep everyone on the path to recovery when disaster strikes. 

A loss of leadership leads to chaos

As anyone who’s seen Airplane! (1980) can tell you, pilots and co-pilots should never eat the same meal mid-flight, otherwise contaminated food could take both out of action simultaneously. While this is just one of a number of ludicrous happenings in this comedy classic, loss-of-leadership scenarios in the enterprise world happen surprisingly frequently – and are no laughing matter. 

A loss of leadership typically stems from unexpected events, from travel delays or restrictions to instances of sickness or compassionate leave. Organisations should therefore make clear which of the leadership teams’ responsibilities should be delegated to whom in the instance where one or many suddenly become unavailable. To make this work, a bottom-up approach to enterprise resilience is crucial, taking into account both operational and human elements of business continuity. 

Pilots cannot rely on there being a trained pilot and/or doctor amongst their passengers to miraculously save the day if they become incapacitated. Likewise, leadership teams shouldn’t leave resilience and continuity up to chance. By training proactively training staff, organisations can either spread responsibility across their organisations or implement and test a clear delegation structure to weather the shock of a sudden loss of leadership. 

Prepare for technology to be sabotaged or to malfunction

Technology is the driving force behind digital transformation in the world, but this also means that we are more dependent on reliable, highly available systems than ever before. The alignment between IT and operations has become such that today, the resilience of an organisation’s IT is tantamount to its overall ability to continue operating when disruption strikes. So, what technology disruptions should organisations be on the lookout for? 

Taking a lesson from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009), a poorly understood or inadequately maintained piece of technology is likely to malfunction and can potentially wreak havoc, especially if that technology has a large base of end-users who rely on its availability 24/7. Additionally, as shown in Speed (1994), technology can also be sabotaged and held to ransom by unknown entities, using time pressure and the threat of harm to users to force organisations to fulfil their requests. 

Unlike the movies, organisations can rely on Disaster Recovery (DR) tools, such as data-centre co-location, cloud back-up and storage, and failover power & networking solutions, to prepare for a diverse set of potential technology disruption scenarios. In addition, organisations shouldn’t rely on a single ‘hero’ to swoop in and save the day. Sharing the burden of knowledge relating to the ins and out of IT infrastructure not only allows teams to react faster to disruption, but ensures the resilience and availability of their products, services and operations.  

Getting back to reality

Not every disaster scenario in the movies has its roots in science fiction or the supernatural. In fact, some have not only featured entirely plausible scenarios, but have been downright prescient. Take, for example, Contagion (2011)whose plotline revolves around the outbreak of a viral pandemic originating in South East Asia and resulting in the implementation of social distancing, self-isolation and a severe economic downturn. Clearly, there are not only indirect lessons to be learned from cinema. 

Disasters are unexpected by definition. The work of disaster movie writers, therefore, is not so much removed from the work of business continuity specialists. Both are responsible for imagining: a) scenarios which cause significant disruption; b) the extent to which said disruption will have short/long-term impact; and c) the potential solutions to put in place both before and after disruption takes place. At a time when business continuity planning is at the top of the agenda for all organisations around the world, now is the time for organisations to use their imagination and prepare for a wide range of potential disruption scenarios. 

Security industry ‘will shift to service-based solutionS post-pandemic’

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The security industry has ‘tremendous’ investment opportunities despite the economic slowdown witnessed due to COVID-19 and under an ‘aspirational’ forecast scenario is likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3% post-pandemic to hit revenue of $140.60 billion by 2025.

That’s according to respected research outfit Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Post-Pandemic Growth Opportunity in the Global Security Industry, in which its slightly more cautious ‘conservative’ forecast scenario predicts that the industry will generate $131.01 billion between 2019 and 2025, at a CAGR of 3.1%.

In the pre-COVID-19 forecast, the industry was estimated to increase at a CAGR of 7.1%, generating revenue of $164.97 billion over the forecast period. 

“COVID-19 will cause a brief slowdown in the security market after almost a decade of uninhibited progress,” said Danielle VanZandt, Aerospace, Defense & Security Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Additionally, while some security sectors may find themselves experiencing a slower recovery than others, much of the industry will witness a shift to more service-based solution offerings after years of hesitance by customers to adopt these solutions.”

“The key security markets such as disaster management, banking and finance, and airport security will recover at a different pace, and the time taken to return to pre-crisis spending levels will also vary significantly. Markets that will record higher-than-average CAGRs during the recovery period include ports (4.5%), disaster management (4.0%), first responders (4.0%), and mass transit (4.0%).”

Despite a marginal slowdown expected in 2020 and 2021, Forrester says strong demand-side trends will present immense development potential for security market participants, including:-

  • Digitalization priorities: Remote/cloud-connected access to security systems and monitoring tools will witness a drastic rise in demand as manned guarding will become extremely limited due to stay-at-home orders issued by state or federal governments, and likely not recover once those orders expire.
  • Emphasis on contactless technologies: In the post-pandemic period, contactless technologies such as biometrics, remote access and authentication, and multi-use analytics solutions will attract investments.
  • Plug-and-play surveillance: Customer willingness to deploy plug-and-play surveillance equipment over permanent system additions due to cost-effectiveness will offer vendors repeat business opportunities.   
  • Sensors-to-action: Vendors must prioritize the development/enhancement of data analytics and sensor networks’ capabilities to provide increased value to customers without having to purchase new solutions or equipment.

Post-Pandemic Growth Opportunity in the Global Security Industry is the latest addition to Frost & Sullivan’s Aerospace, Defense & Security research and analyses available through the Frost & Sullivan Leadership Council, which helps organizations identify a continuous flow of growth opportunities to succeed in an unpredictable future.

Do you specialise in SIA Security Training? We want to hear from you!

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Each month on Security Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the security market – and in June we’ll be focussing on SIA Security Training solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help security buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of SIA Security Training solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Ian Jefferies on i.jefferies@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our full features list:

Jun – SIA Security Training
Jul – Transit, Screening & Scanning
Aug – Biometrics
Sep – IP/IT Security
Oct – CCTV
Nov – Loss Prevention Solutions
Dec – Drones