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Security industry trends to watch for in 2023

Blog: Security industry trends to watch for in 2023

An ongoing pandemic, a supply chain crisis, wars, social unrest, climate change, and more are wreaking havoc throughout the world. Want evidence of it? Just take a look at the train robbery problem Union Pacific has on its hands in L.A. where discarded packaging and unwanted items leave stretches of rail road looking like “a scene from a disaster movie.”

And that’s just one chaotic and troublesome example in the United States so you can imagine what the rest of the world is dealing with. That means an already evolving security industry will take on even more changes in 2023.

In this blog, we’re sharing insights from a Security Magazine article in which they consulted physical security industry experts for their 2023 trend predictions in the physical security industry. And we’ve included a list of “other trends to consider” based on our research to help you stay informed and get prepared.

Expert: Fred Burton, Executive Director at the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence

Insight: There will be a need for more ‘foot soldiers’

“There will be a substantial shortage of physical security and public safety professionals — the ‘foot soldiers’ that protect others in both the public and private sectors — leaving organizations to fill the gaps. Demand for these professionals will grow due to increasingly violent incidents, but a decline in interest in the profession will cause a serious hiring gap. Organizations must be prepared to fill the gap, both by paying higher prices for trained and qualified protection professionals, while also shifting their paradigm to address the threat using protective intelligence. Hiring of protective intelligence analysts with criminal analysis expertise, greater use of technology and early threat warning data, and deployment of plainclothes security professionals who proactively act on that information can fill the void.”

Expert: Jerry Brennan, Chief Executive at SMR Group

Insight: Ethics and societal behavior will play large role in planning and reacting to security threats

“The areas that I feel will be a challenge for security risk management going forward are the impact to organizations as a result of growing changes in societal behavioral norms, as well as

the lack of due diligence in the production of factual information for which leaders will base strategic decisions. This is not about differing political views, but how people behave and function in the execution of their roles in their organization. Ethics, trust, reliability and respect for diversity, together with intellectual curiosity, are the key cornerstones needed. I would also fully expect to see organizations experience an increase in a wide variety of criminal acts in the areas of theft, fraud, sabotage and intellectual property issues by those who have a strong affinity for domestic extremist groups. It is likely that in many cases there will also be a nexus to non-U.S. entities both public and private.”

Expert: Sally Llewellyn, Global Security Director, International SOS

Insight: Social unrest will require business leaders to make sure they have the knowledge and tools they need to keep up

“The drivers for unrest will be numerous in 2023 and accounting for the impact of social unrest is going to be a key task for businesses in 2023. Mitigation starts with understanding the risk environments in which organizations operate, drivers of unrest and most likely impacts on employees and operations. This can also help businesses to ensure they have the right early warning systems in place, understand the potential triggers and what kind of organizational response is needed to counter any security issues. Education is also key. Employees and decision-makers need to be knowledgeable about risks and steps their organization is taking to mitigate them to keep the workforce safe.”

Expert: Michael Gips, Principal at Global Insights in Professional Security (GIPS)

Insight: Drones will continue to rise in use

“Despite some bumps in the road (or in the air), organizations will continue adding unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to their security arsenals. Uses will include preliminary entry screening, identity verification, perimeter protection, counterespionage, site surveys, and crowd management. Hiccups will invariably occur, including regulatory violations, concerns about privacy, and equipment malfunctions. But these pitfalls won't halt the long-term trend.”

Expert: Mary-Lou Smulders, CMO at Dedrone

Insight: Drone attacks will lead to more legislation

“Drone incursions are a reality in major sports events and other open-air venues (including the NFL this season). These incursions are disruptive and have the potential to halt play, but they are yet to cause any real physical harm. We can expect the leagues and organizations to push even harder for legislation enabling use of more advanced technologies and mitigation capabilities next year. Equally important, the NFL, MLB, NCAA and NASCAR will be investing to harden their airspace security as allowed under current laws to ensure safety of players and fans.”

Expert: Mike Lahiff, CEO of ZeroEyes

Insight: As more employees return to the office, employers need to invest in safety

“In 2023, I think we will see more companies investing in multi-layered security solutions to keep their employees safe. Slowly but surely, U.S. workers are returning to the office, and employers want to make sure they feel safe, especially since 30% of mass shootings happen at the workplace. In a survey of over 2,000 workers across various industries, 47% said they are more motivated to stay with an employer that genuinely cares for their safety — the top reason following competitive compensation. There is also a heightened risk of workplace violence when the economy is troubled, and companies are forced to cut their workforce.”

Expert: Keith Oringer, Founder and President at Security ProAdvisors

Insight: More crime means more demand for security—particularly cybersecurity

“On the physical side, given higher crime rates of the past few years, demand for security will unquestionably continue to increase. Cybersecurity also will remain of central importance, with greater demand for robots, remote video monitoring, access control, and alarm sensors that incorporate artificial intelligence and analytics.”

Expert: Erik Schluntz, Co-Founder and CTO of Cobalt Robotics

Insight: The use of robots will increase—and so will AI

"In 2023, we'll see security robots scale up to much wider adoption, as cultural acceptance of robots and artificial intelligence (AI) increases dramatically. Everyone recognizes the importance of robots in the face of the current labor shortage, and broader trends like the popularity of AI-generated art and chatGPT are making people comfortable with AI in their everyday lives."

Expert: Keith Oringer, Founder and President at Security ProAdvisors

Insight: Demand for higher wages will result in continuing consolidation

“Looking at the bottom line, companies will continue to see an erosion at the gross margin level, as workers take advantage of the tight labor market to demand higher wages. Yet I have no doubt that security and safety firms will nonetheless be attractive to investors because the sector is seen as recession-resilient. But as a result, there will be continued consolidation.”

Expert: Michael Gips, Principal at Global Insights in Professional Security (GIPS)

Insight: Tackling insider risk will receive a holistic approach

“Organizations will increasingly consider insider risk holistically, to the extent of creating specific insider threat positions and units. Instead of siloing data in HR systems, audit and finance, IT, corporate security, cybersecurity, legal, etc., they will centralize data to better predict, identify and interdict insider attacks ranging from data exfiltration to workplace violence.”

Other trends to put on your radar:

  • Access controls will be modernized
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) will continue its’ ascent, connecting things like coffee pots and security hardware to the internet
  • Cybersecurity will continue to be one of the largest concerns, driving tech to address it
  • Data silos will continue their descent as agility becomes more and more important
  • Biometrics will continue to be a thriving solution for better security and efficiency
  • New tech and changes will be influenced by law-carbon initiatives

So, 2023 looks like another year of disruption as the pandemic continues. But one thing is different (from the previous three years): people seem to understand the importance of resiliency better than ever. And that goes for physical security business owners and operators.

Add to that wisdom new security solutions and Union Pacific can put a stop to the rampant train robberies. But what about you? What problems can you solve this year? This year of disruption may be the perfect time to improve the security of your business.

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