After reflecting on security trends in 2023, security leaders share their physical security concerns and predictions for 2024. Concerns range from ongoing geopolitical issues to advancements in technology such as artificial intelligence (AI).

Biometrics, AI and access control

Jordan Avnaim, CISO at Entrust

"When working in tandem, physical and digital security measures can greatly reduce the risk of attacks businesses routinely find themselves defending against on a daily basis. However, when siloed, they can be each other's worst enemy. The rapid development of generative AI and increasingly sophisticated deepfakes makes it difficult for even the most seasoned security professionals, and corresponding systems to spot fake documents and IDs. These near-perfect replicas give bad actors easy access through physical security safeguards and, eventually, through digital protections as well. Further, physical security access controls, which have traditionally been single factor (proximity access cards) are now easily replicable with inexpensive commercially available tools. Once they have access, criminals can wreak havoc on organizations with access to their most sensitive data. 

In 2024, it will become necessary for organizations to invest in protocols and technologies that can spot these falsified documents and validate users’ identities. With a seamless meeting of physical and digital security, organizations can be confident that their information stays protected even in the face of rapidly evolving threats." 

Dean Phillips, Director of Public Sector Programs at Noname Security 

“In 2024, I predict that there will be a persisting division between the private and public sectors as government AI policy implementation takes shape. Government agencies, along with private companies outside government, such as critical infrastructure, that are impacted by proceeding policies, will be forced to comply. However, a pronounced divide will emerge in cases where there are no government-mandated policies concerning private companies. These private entities will adhere to a wide range of AI approaches, and many will choose to create their own policies. I expect that this lack of consistency, in contrast to the structured government approach, will persist into the foreseeable future.”

Doug Gray, Chief Technology Officer at Amazon Business

“As AI tools become more prominent and accessible in 2024, organizations will invest in analytics and insights tools, automation, and AI-driven optimization of purchasing decisions to improve efficiency. Decision makers globally are already planning investments or upgrades in analytics and insights tools, automation, and AI-driven optimization of purchasing decisions in the next few years.”

Geopolitical threats

Jeff Hauk Director, Public Safety and Police Authority Services

“Moving into 2024, I believe we will see the focus continue on the shaping and further developing the field of physical security. These trends will be focused on enhancing traditional security measures and strategies with the latest in technology. While the landscape continues to be very fluid and evolving, I believe the focus will include trends such as:

  1. Deployment of Behavioral Analytics and Threat Assessment and Management Teams.  Overall, the deployment of behavioral analytics and threat assessment and management teams provides a comprehensive and dynamic approach to protective operations, combining technological insights with human expertise to be more situationally aware and proactive against potential threats.
  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) being increasingly employed in physical security systems to enhance the ability to identify potential threats and respond proactively.
  3. The use of IoT devices in physical security systems to provide real-time data and enhance situational awareness.
  4. Deployment of robotic devices and drones for patrolling, surveillance and monitoring in large areas or places that are challenging to access and/or providing an aerial perspective, enhancing overall security coverage, and providing a more effective use of limited resources.  
  5. The trend of integrating various security components, such as access control, video surveillance, and intrusion detection, to provide a more comprehensive and streamlined approach to security management."