As we near the midway point of 2019, the digital transformation is officially upon us. Technology is a part of our day-to-day lives, with smart devices in our homes and the ability to perform tasks at our fingertips a reality.
This transformation is greatly impacting the physical security industry, in ways that we've been anticipating and those we did not see coming. No longer are the cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Cities foreign and distant concepts full of intrigue and promise. We're seeing these elements increasingly incorporated into security solutions today, allowing organizations to experience countless benefits when it comes to both safety and business operations.
Now that we're past wondering what these technologies will bring to the industry, it's time to take a look at what the future holds. As we become more familiar with the advantages, flaws, expectations and best practices surrounding the connected world, we can predict what issues may arise and where the market is heading.
Safely Managing Data
One thing that embracing intelligent and integrated technologies has taught us is the fact that data is invaluable — and there's copious amounts available to be analyzed.
As the use of big data continues to increase, along with the elevated level of insight and awareness, we can expect to see the conversations regarding data privacy and security increase. Increasing the connectivity between devices can open up the risk of cyber vulnerabilities, and designing safeguards in as technology advances will lessen these risks.
The key takeaway is to ensure that the data that organizations use for enhancement and improvements is comprehensively protected from unauthorized access. In the physical security industry, manufacturers and integrators must be mindful of their products' capabilities and make it easy for end-users to adhere to data sharing and privacy regulations.
These regulations, which greatly affect physical security systems and the way they're managed, are being implemented worldwide, such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In the United States, California, Vermont and South Carolina have followed suit, and it can be expected that more countries and U.S. states develop similar guidelines in the future.
IoT & Smart Cities
Now that the powerful acronym “IoT” has become a common term in our vocabularies, it's exciting to think about the possibilities of this revolutionary concept. The number of active IoT devices is expected to grow to 22 billion by 2025 — a number that is almost incomprehensible. The rise of 5G networks, artificial intelligence (AI) and self-driving cars can be seen on the horizon of the IoT.
One market that stands to experience tremendous development and expansion from the IoT is the Smart City. Smart Cities rely on data communicated through the IoT to enhance processes and create techniques that might not be possible otherwise. By leveraging rich, real-time information, cities can improve efficiencies across services such as transportation, water management and healthcare.
But cities are also one area that can suffer detrimental consequences in the future by not properly securing the network. We've talked about the importance of IoT security, and this is exceptionally paramount in a Smart City, as it requires accurate data to function. Appropriate steps for hardening security around these networks will mitigate the dangers of hacking and allow this technology to continuously improve.
The opportunities presented by an influx of data and the IoT, and applying these technologies to markets such as Smart Cities, will solve security and operational problems. However, this requires taking action: by staying proactive when it comes to threats and practicing the proper protection protocols, manufacturers, end users and city officials can do their part in contributing to a secure solution.
As we dive deeper every day into all that the digital world has to offer, these solutions will prove to augment safety, security systems and business operations. We can expect to see improvements in the future as we learn from our mistakes and gather intelligence every step of the way.