No one could have foreseen the events that happened last year. From the personal data breach of 143 million Equifax customers to the WannaCry ransomware attacks, cybersecurity became a widely-discussed topic. At the same time, natural disasters, political disturbances, and other threats shook cities everywhere. Faced with these changing conditions, city officials and agencies strategized to better mitigate risks and prepare for unplanned events.
As another year begins, below are our top 5 trends for 2018. Looking ahead, we believe these topics will spark interesting conversations with our customers and partners, and industry experts.
- Effecting strategies that bolster cybersecurity and privacy
Cybercriminals are using more sophisticated tactics to get what they want. For organizations, this means that anything from a default camera password to not knowing when a device goes offline could lead to costly outcomes. The repercussions of a breach are getting even more severe too. Governments are holding organizations more accountable for the information they collect, manage, and store. On May 25, 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect. If a breach occurs, penalties for non-compliance can reach up to up to $20 million euros or 4% of the company’s global annual turnover.
It’s why now, more than ever, businesses are re-thinking their cybersecurity strategies. In the coming year, more organizations will be doing thorough gap analyses to get a clearer picture of risks. They will also be seeking solutions that help them counteract risks and adhere to new legislation. Organizations with the most effective cybersecurity strategies will rely on solutions that embed advanced data and communication security measures. The goal will be to make it easier for their teams to identify and manage cyber threats and better protect privacy.
- Using security analytics that empower the operator
Video and other analytics technologies are ever-evolving. Organizations that are managing a growing number of sensors across multiple locations or wide-open, highly-trafficked spaces will find these analytics even more valuable to better secure their sites. That’s because, in places such as stadiums, airports, university campuses or city centers, operators already have a lot on their plates. Every minute of every day, they are receiving and trying to make sense of a vast amount of information from various systems. Their goal is to identify and diffuse potential threats as quickly as possible.
While unifying solutions into one pane of glass makes it easier for operators to see what’s happening in their environment, sometimes that’s not enough. Due to the sheer size of these sites, even the most skilled security operators could become overwhelmed with juggling daily tasks while also trying to spot intruders, objects or crowds. In the coming year, more businesses will consider various forms of security and privacy analytics. These analytics solutions will help operators break through the complexity of managing it all, alerting them to the most pressing situations. Newly-embedded functionality such as facial blurring will also help organizations adhere to more stringent privacy protection laws.
- Retrieving insights that businesses can act on
Whether it’s a retailer that wants to better understand the customer shopping experience or a law enforcement department that needs to identify patterns in city crimes, business intelligence (BI) tools will continue to gain interest in 2018. That’s because there’s a growing demand to use security data to enhance operations.
Managers, city officials or other users don’t have time to comb through data or manipulate spreadsheets to find meaningful information. Instead, organizations are looking for ways to transform security data into relevant insights that they can act on. They want dynamic dashboards and visual reports that help users grasp business insights at a glance, so they can make quick yet effective operational improvements. Solutions that embed these advanced BI tools will allow key stakeholders to better understand the state of their business and make decisions that enhance their environment—whether that’s a store, city, airport or anything else.
- Building collaborative security models that enhance city vibrancy
According to BCC research, over 600 cities are set to ‘go smart’ in the next few years. One core component of the smart city strategy is security. It’s why more governments, law enforcement agencies, and city officials are looking for ways to build stronger public-private partnerships. Cloud technology will continue to be a huge enabler of this collaboration. That’s because cloud solutions make it easier and more affordable for businesses to buy new security technology and participate in community-led programs. This breaks down barriers between entities, bringing police, transit, retailers, community groups and local businesses together to discuss common objectives.
New ways of sharing data will also help entities better understand what’s happening in their city. This can include anything from the analysis of traffic flow on roadways to the identification of crime hotspots. It’s through these new collaborative technologies and paradigms that municipalities, businesses, and citizens will build smarter and more secure communities. Ultimately, that means ensuring that daily traffic, business, events, and life go on with little interruption.
- Evolving access control to manage people, not doors
How users assign and manage credentials will continue to become a bigger focus in the access control industry this coming year. That’s because access control is not just about managing doors anymore. The access control industry is steadily evolving to help organizations also manage the flow of people and identities.
From welcoming visitors to a corporate office or ensuring the ease of movement through a museum or stadium, operators will have a much simpler workflow. The process of assigning credentials will become more fluid, collaborative and somewhat automated. This will ensure cardholders or guests freely access buildings, areas, or rooms with the right permissions.
While it’s impossible to predict the future, we do our best to anticipate the needs of our customers, so they can be ready for what’s ahead. That way, no matter how much the world around us evolves from one year to the next, organizations and cities can learn from past experiences and keep enhancing security and operations over time.