The physical security space is changing, with emerging threats, new criminal techniques, terrorism and hostile activism just of few of the drivers of change.

The implications are profound. The world of physical security systems is being invaded by multiple new and emerging technologies. Arguably, the technology currently showing the greatest potential implications have a wireless Internet connection to pass their status (data) via digital communications to other components, devices or systems. Given the growing capabilities of these emerging IoT devices, they are likely to transform electronic security systems that protect physical assets. Corporate security staff that operate, manage and monitor the electronic security systems used in the facilities they are assigned, in most cases, have not been trained on how to use the security systems equipment.

Analysis has indicated that only a small fraction of the electronic security system’s overall capabilities is being used. What is worse is that the Internet of Things (IoT) movement that is currently underway will be making this issue much more pronounced.  Smart IoT sensors are becoming an indispensable set of security devices for residential, commercial and industrial security systems. Current estimates suggest that the total number of IoT connected sensors/devices could top 50 billion by 2020. To put that in financial terms, current projections have the global market for IoT at $16.3 billion in 2016, with expectations that it will $185 billion by 2023. The percentage of those figures that will be directly related to physical security is unknown. However, some examining the IoT physical security marketplace believe that physical security is likely to become a focal point of the Internet of Things within facilities. IoT sensors will detect threat, monitor unusual and threat conditions, response to the detected threats, as well as the clear departure of what is considered to be acceptable/usual conditions.

The greatest challenge we face is the integration of traditional intrusion detection, threat monitoring, threat response and control with the predictive security sensor systems that IoT sensors and devices will enable. The top areas for IoT physical security system applications include: perimeter monitoring and protection, security system tamper protection, visitor and employee tracking, environmental sensors, secure intelligence tagging of company assets, and more. All of this will come together to substantially increase the data about the physical environment for which security is provided. It is important to mention that automated drone security patrols will likely interact with IoT sensors and increase the effectiveness of that aspect of modern physical security. Combined, this technology and the monitoring data it produces will have a profound impact on the industry. Clearly, examination of this impact justifies the projected 34+ percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the global physical security information management market in the next three years.

This is the future of security, and that means it will increasingly be a part of what’s ahead for all those in physical security, including management.  Large organizations that have a higher level of risk are the first to integrate these complex technologies into their physical security systems and will be the most likely to succeed

The increased remote monitoring and sensing capabilities are likely to impact the physical security processes and procedures. Forward thinking security professionals would be well advised to identify one or more continuing educations programs that offer a CPE credit.

Clearly, emerging technologies will have a profound impact at all levels of physical security. A discussion with enterprise physical security professionals has unveiled a discomfort when it comes to dealing with new physical security systems technologies.  This is the second in a series of pieces that will examine those implications. The first piece, “How Enterprise Physical Security Integrates with Security Robots” can be found here: