The Security Industry Association (SIA) has identified and forecasted the 2021 Security Megatrends, which form the basis of SIA’s signature annual Security Megatrends report identifying the top 10 factors influencing both short- and long-term change in the global security industry. The Security Megatrends are the top forces at play in security, expected to have far-reaching impacts on businesses across the industry. As such, these trends play an instrumental role in the insights and discussions at the Securing New Ground conference (SNG), the executive conference for the security industry (Oct. 21-22, virtual), an annual conference bringing together the leading entrepreneurs, luminaries, CEOs and investors in the security industry for top-level information sharing, networking and business analysis.

The selection of 2021’s Security Megatrends was based on fall 2020 focus groups, interviews and survey data gathered from top security industry business leaders, in addition to input from SNG conference speakers.

For the first time, artificial intelligence (AI) has been named the top Security Megatrend, rising from a position of being the second ranked Megatrend in 2020’s report, and rising from the fifth-ranked position in 2019’s report. Input from survey participants and from focus groups and interviews indicated that AI — along with AI variants such as machine learning, deep learning and artificial neural networks — were in the product roadmaps for nearly all security technology solutions.

The cybersecurity of physical security systems and solutions, which had held the top spot for the last two Security Megatrends reports, retained its influence, and was ranked second, behind AI. Given the impact of the pandemic, respondents’ input also placed the trend of touchless/frictionless on the top 10 list of trends; the frictionless trend had previously been identified as a micro-trend. Also new to the 2021 ranking of trends was the trend of predictive data analytics, which would assist in providing meaningful insights into the volume of data that IoT devices and security and software systems can create, and the trend of responsive environments and intelligent spaces – indicating the application of technology solutions to automate and elevate environments such as homes, buildings and cities.

The 2021 Security Megatrends are:

  1. Artificial Intelligence
  2. Cybersecurity of Physical Security
  3. Predictive Data Analytics
  4. Connectivity and the IoT of Everything
  5. Cloud Computing
  6. Touchless & Frictionless Solutions
  7. Facial Recognition
  8. Responsive Environments & Intelligent Spaces
  9. Emphasis on Data Privacy
  10. Move to Service Models

The Security Megatrends will be an underlying theme at the Securing New Ground conference (Oct. 21-22) and will be woven into numerous sessions and panels, in addition to being the focus of a session presented by SIA’s Security Megatrends advisor Steve Van Till, who will be surveying attendees for additional feedback on the impact of the Security Megatrends.