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Looking towards 2018 with our top six predictions for the security industry

Dec 19, 2017

With 2018 is on the horizon, what trends can we expect to see next year within the security sector?

After a year which saw the ongoing convergence of physical security and Information Technology; the growth of connected, smart, data-driven, multi-function devices and integrated solutions looks set to keep up the pace. All of which will drive the need for ever more effective cyber security measures. Plus, the Australian government’s recent push for greater protection of public places should keep business flowing for the security industry.

1. Harnessing the power of social media

The data produced by 2.46 billion social media users worldwide is being employed as both a preemptive and reactive security tool. A combination of smart algorithms and real-time geo-location data can assist in detection of risks, as well as provide essential information to first responders and security services. We can expect to see an increase in the use of social media to predict potential threats to safety, and being used as a tool for coordinating emergency responses and communicating with affected persons en masse.

2. Biometrics and Facial Recognition

Whilst the travel and immigration sectors have until now dominated the biometrics market, the technology has been fairly slow to make it into to our daily lives. However, since the recent release of Apple’s Iphone X, which uses facial recognition to unlock the phone, and with other manufacturers bound to follow suit soon, biometrics looks set to enter the mainstream. As many as 5.5 billion biometrically-enabled mobile devices could be in use by 2022 and the ever expanding IoT (Internet of Things) will surely drive demand for more robust and convenient authentications. We should to see a lot more of this technology next year.

3. Data, data, data

It is quite mind-blowing to think that YouTube users are uploading 400 hours of new video each minute of every day. This is just a small fraction of the data we are creating worldwide on a daily basis. Refinements in video analytics have been providing sophisticated insights into visual data obtained from CCTV footage. Smart algorithms, multi-sensor and multi-directional technology are increasingly being embedded into modern IP cameras. These are often integrated with external systems and sources of data, to provide analytics solutions which have been extended far beyond traditional security. Ever more sophisticated object detection and tracking, behavioural analysis, deep learning and predictive technologies are on their way.

4. Internet of Things

The growth of this market is showing no signs of slowing down, with IDC forecasting that worldwide spending on the Internet of Things will reach $772 Billion in 2018. As the number of devices continues to proliferate, Gartner are predicting a shift from “smart” towards “intelligent” devices, seeing an increased take up of autonomous vehicles, robots and drones as likely.  On the cards for the coming year are greater analysis of data generated by IoT devices, refinements to operating systems and all the challenges of handling large volumes of data and managing a rapidly growing number of devices. Oh, and of course, cybersecurity will continue to dominate.

5. Cyber security

It has certainly felt like the rise of cyber crime has been relentless in 2017, and no doubt some records will have been broken once the figures are in. It was already the second most reported crime globally in 2016 and it is estimated the global annual cost of data breaches could reach $2.1 trillion by 2019. Against this backdrop cyber security is likely to play a prominent role across the technology sector next year, especially considering that each time a new device is connected to a network, the attack surface grows.

6. Protecting crowded places

In response to the ever present threat of terrorism, the Australian Government have just released a strategy for protecting public places. The document, which contains guidance and advice for managing and protecting crowds, puts the burden of responsibility firmly upon owners and operators of public spaces. With a clearly stated duty of care, they will be required to implement adequate security measures to mitigate risk, which is certain to push up demand for security solutions in the New Year.

With our predictions of new security trends and the evolution of existing threats, 2018 is shaping up to be a busy year for Australia’s security profession!

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