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Physical security industry leaders embrace new tech - study

By Catherine Knowles
Wed 2 Mar 2022

The physical security industry is embracing new technology to adapt to changing conditions, according to a new report from Genetec.

Based on insights from more than 2,000 physical security leaders from around the world, the report looks at how the role of physical security continued to evolve in 2021 as organisations adapted to changing conditions.

Physical security continues to shift from being seen as a tool for mitigating risk, to playing a much more significant role in organisations digital transformation, Genetec states.

The survey showed that more than two-thirds (69%) of respondents described physical security and related data as mission-critical.

Larger organisations in particular are increasingly seeing value in the data gathered by their physical security systems with more than 46% saying they use their security systems as a way to improve overall business efficiency, productivity and asset optimisation.

Several survey respondents commented that they intended to invest in data management solutions to advance or improve the functionality of their physical security environment in the coming 12 months.

The survey revealed that an increasing percentage of organisations (36%) are investing in unified solutions to enable the ease of maintenance, visibility and data collection across all their systems to improve functionality and operations. This compares to 31% in the 2020 survey.

More than half of all respondents (51%) also said they had invested in video analytics to improve the functionality of existing deployments and digitally transform their business processes.

Genetec vice president offerings and transformation Pervez R. Siddiqui says, “Before the pandemic, physical security’s role in business intelligence and operations was already growing, but over the last two years, it has proven to be a strategic asset in coping with a variety of challenges.

"As we emerge from the pandemic, organisations will contend with three undercurrents; changes in the physical dimension of work as workspaces evolve into hubs for collaboration and cohesion, workflow automation of the mundane in a bid to drive productivity and retention, and board-level interest in achieving operational resilience through integrated risk management.”

With the pandemic forcing restricted access to physical sites, cloud-based solutions that enable organisations to remotely monitor video, control cameras, assess system health, perform maintenance and update firmware/software have become invaluable, Genetec states.

The survey showed that 45% of larger organisations (with more than 1,000 employees) have already adopted cloud solutions, which is a significant increase compared to 2020 when only 26% of respondents said they had begun their cloud journey.

Furthermore, 94% of respondents said they have plans to deploy cloud or hybrid cloud solutions in the long term.

Genetec vice president product engineering and CSO Christian Morin says, “The adoption of cloud and hybrid cloud solutions is rapidly accelerating in the security industry.

"While many physical security departments were hesitant to consider cloud connected solutions in the past, they now better understand the benefits these solutions bring and how it can help them to better utilise their resources to achieve their respective business goals while minimising their overall operational complexity.”

When asked about the type of solutions they were planning to invest in to advance or improve their physical security environment in the next 12 months, over half of respondents (52%) picked access control.

Genetec director access control product group Thibaut Louvet says, “Legacy access control systems use outdated technology that leaves them vulnerable to cyber threats, and can cause damage beyond the door.

"So it is reassuring to see that organisations are taking the necessary steps to migrate their access control systems to more modern, cyber secure access control systems.”

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