Find out the Top 10 security megatrends for 2018

by Brianna Crandall — April 13, 2018 —  If you’re wondering what’s in store for security technology and operations for the coming year, the Security Industry Association (SIA) recently released its 2018 Security Megatrends report, the results of an annual research project that reports on the top trends reshaping the security industry. The top 10 trends range from the booming growth of the IoT to more efficient ways to manage Big Data.

SIA worked with its sponsored ISC West converged security event to make sure those themes would be addressed at the 2018 event this week in Las Vegas, particularly as part of the SIA Education@ISC lineup. The 50-year-old ISC Security Events brand educates security-related professionals on the tools and skills needed to protect against today’s emerging cyber and physical security threats and the anticipated ones of tomorrow. Through its partnership with SIA, ISC West organized a comprehensive program for attendees from all industries, roles and functions across physical, information technology (IT) and Internet of Things (IoT) security, covering how the Security Megatrends are expected to pose significant impacts on 2018’s converged security landscape.

SIA’s 2018 Security Megatrends

Trend 1: Booming Growth of the IoT

According to Gartner, businesses are predicted to represent more than half of overall IoT spending in 2017 (57 percent). Going into 2018, cross-industry devices, like those used in smart buildings (i.e., LED lighting and physical security systems) will drive this spending trend. The IoT is creating both challenges and capabilities for the physical security and risk management sectors. When implemented and properly secured, the IoT will provide predictive analytics, the ability to deliver a more personalized experience to users, and complete situational awareness from top to bottom.

Both enterprise and consumer-connected solutions were major focuses at ISC West.

Trend 2: Cyber Meets Physical Security

As the cyber and physical security sectors continue to merge, manufacturers are dealing with increasingly hostile and complex environments. To take security to the next level, manufacturers and systems integrators need to offer more advanced cybersafeguards to protect network connected devices.

Security integrators are moving in the right direction and are beginning to offer cybersecurity as a service as they continue to grow their businesses from hardware-centric to solution-oriented models. And customers rightfully expect service providers to be their trusted advisors — however, integrators will only be able to deliver if they continue to evolve towards total convergence.

Trend 3: Accessing and Analyzing Smart and Big Data

According to IDC, less than .5 percent of all data is ever analyzed and used, which is alarming considering all the buried insights that exist but aren’t being leveraged. According to Lisa Roy, vice president, Integration and Commercial Operations, Building Solutions-North America of Johnson Controls, “Big Data is life changing in how we operate buildings and determining our future role. It’s all about how to pull that information out that benefits the customer. Big Data changes the way in which we service customers.”

Augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI) and video analytics will continue to be important for acquiring insights, but physical security experts are already anticipating how Big Data will impact the industry beyond these technologies. With so much information available, security practitioners need to have a plan for the data they are collecting, as well as a realistic risk assessment of the exposure of this data to their companies and clients.

Trend 4: Evolution of Risk Management

Traditionally, the organizational process in security has been a siloed, single-lane approach. However, the most successful management models include all corporate stakeholders and possible sources of information to circumvent loss and reduce the potential for insider risk threats. We’re heading in the right direction as risk management and planning has broadened to be more holistic, and collaboration between all stakeholders, beyond just within technology/security roles, is becoming increasingly prominent. However, this needs to happen even more, to become the norm, not an exception.

As we look to innovative technologies that bring about new risks and considerations, such as drones, this coordinated approach becomes even more imperative. The Unmanned Security & Safety Expo @ ISC West explored risk management for unmanned aerial and ground vehicles (UAVs, UGVs).

Trend 5: Transformation of the Channel

There’s an ongoing, heightened transformation of the security installer and integrator business into everything as a service, with new models embracing interactive products, and the do-it-yourself (DIY) and self-installation markets. Unusual suspects from the IT sector have entered the security business, and traditional security monitoring companies are now offering DIY or self-install systems.

This transformation of the channel requires some changes. The traditional security provider must continue to change and focus on value-added services that heighten the customer experience, while delivering convenience and intelligence expected by their customers. From the end user’s perspective, security executives are looking for security providers who can collaborate fully to address risks and assist not only with security and safety, but contribute to business continuity and promote a tangible return on investment.

Trend 6: Shakeup of the Status Quo: Entrance of Entrepreneurial Buyers and Outsiders

Strategic acquirers are merging with traditional security manufacturers and installation companies to focus on data analytics, convergence and IoT. According to Jay Darfler, SVP, Emerging Markets and Innovation of ADT Security Services, “Disruption and innovation can come at you from a hundred different angles. You have to divide what your strengths and your core innovation to focus on.”

The industry’s biggest players are getting even bigger as new technologies and applications enter new markets, like residential, and even spill over into small-to-medium business markets. However, there are challenges, and the longtime recurring monthly revenue (RMR) centric model is changing from hardware and project-based to income from service, maintenance and remote monitoring from cloud and interactive services. And while service creates value, monetary values inevitably change. As this shift continues, norms that have been in place for decades are changing, too, including increased subscriber acquisition costs (SAC), decreased RMR margins, increased technology obsolescence, shorter product development cycles, no contracts, and interoperability.

Trend 7: Mobile Everything

Mobile technology is becoming synonymous with access identity and credentialing. Beyond the obvious consumer value, smartphones will be transformative within access control, enabling both cost reductions and end-user benefits.

By itself, mobile credentials in access control is a strong value proposition, but mobile credentials are also able to provide an integrated and higher value system for the user while it promotes new services and revenue streams.

Trend 8: Control Through Cloud: Driving Greater Efficiencies and Promoting Managed Services

The global cloud computing service market is expanding exponentially. Growing connectivity, convergence and integration with IoT, mobile technology, and a wide range of applications and services is driving the shift towards cloud-hosting — including public, private and hybrid.

The cloud is an enabling technology. It allows the user greater access to managing their premises, and opens the door to new service options for solutions providers to offer. It gives them the opportunity to offer managed services and subsequent RMR that is highly attainable, providing inherent opportunities to add new revenue streams with the cloud’s “always on, always accessible” model. With this, systems integrators can become total solutions providers that are reliably available 24/7, leading to greater confidence and customer satisfaction.

Trend 9: Integrating with Social Media

In law enforcement and emergency communications/operations, social media has become critical in identifying active shooters, criminal activities or other potential threats or disasters in real time.

As the IoT and other disciplines continue to converge, social media will be part of the transformation of critical information resources. The next step for social media is deeper integration with mass notification and emergency communications — with the ability to disseminate specification information to individuals who may need to be evacuated or take shelter.

Trend 10: Emerging Connected Services: Consumers Want Convenience at Their Fingertips

Sensors embedded in a wide range of smart home devices and appliances will deliver near real-time analytics on changes within home environments. The cloud is a key component of this, providing seamless access and visibility. Visibility is especially important for service and maintenance of remote sites, reducing expensive site visits and labor costs — resulting in a better customer experience.

Security providers who can adapt with this changing landscape will prove invaluable to the commercial market, lowering their business costs in areas like energy management.

ISC West sessions related to each of the trends above are listed on the SIA announcement.

For more information about ISC West or to view SIA’s Security Megatrends: The 2018 Vision for the Security Industry report, visit the respective Web sites.