he security industry has a very unique role in that it is one of the first to identify threats for all other industries. Companies that protect healthcare facilities or casinos, for example, often need to get in front of potential risks before organizations are even aware they exist.
Since security companies are responsible for protecting lives and data, being proactive and prepared is a must. Anticipating the unexpected is essential. In order to continue serving their clients to the best of their abilities, these are some of the processes, tools, and strategies we expect the security industry to adopt in 2023.
Trend #1 – Digitization infiltrates physical security
Digitization refers to the process of making analog information or processes, digital. Physical security teams benefit from digitization strategies just as much as cybersecurity teams, but due to industry complexities (including overwhelming scale) and cost concerns, change is slow.
Moreover, clients understand that cyber risks can happen at any time to anyone, but don’t often feel that physical threats are as probable. As a result, they take a more reactive approach when it comes to physical security. They may only consider physical security solutions after an incident has occurred, which is another reason why security companies may not feel the need to implement advanced strategies. They don’t know if the investment will be enough to build long-term relationships with clients.
But, with the acceleration of technology and cyber-physical convergence, companies and security teams should start seeing more value in physical security solutions that are influenced by digitization.
Security companies may embrace digital processes such as using software to conduct patrols and submit reports, IoT sensors that detect noise or temperature changes, and access control solutions. These processes essentially allow guards and staff to be more productive. They standardize tasks so that each team member is carrying out a job in the same way, and they help reduce human error. Furthermore, it’s easier to collect key data when a company uses a software tool instead of tracking information manually. Of course, staff will need to learn to master these tools, and supervisors will need to implement safeguards to ensure hardware and software are not compromised.
These are just some of the benefits of integrating digital processes and physical security:
- More accurate data from staff and for clients
- Faster access to information
- Increased productivity
- Lower operational costs
- Ability to employ preventive security measures
Trend #2 – Marketing physical security as a critical component to success
The turbulent U.S. and global economies have created financial challenges for companies. With supply chain issues, labor shortages and aggressive inflation rates, everyone is doing what they can to spend more wisely. That means prospective clients may be more hesitant to invest in security solutions.
Security companies will need to “sell” their services to customers, and demonstrate why it is important to have something in place to protect operations, data, and physical property. Having numbers available, such as money companies spend on fixing security issues with and without a security team, is one of the best ways to demonstrate value to clients.
It’s no longer enough to simply do good work. Companies need to differentiate themselves from the competition and create brand awareness before they set up a meeting with a potential client.
Go the extra mile
Offering a free property walk before securing a bid can yield positive results. During the property walk, demonstrate to the potential client that you’ve done your research. You can show them, in real time, your team’s procedures, incident reporting structure, and how guard tours work. You can also use this time to ask questions about the client’s problems and expectations.
Build your brand
If a client knows about your company before they email or call you, you’re in a good place. Brand recognition is the ability for consumers to recognize identifying characteristics of one company from a competitor company. People choose you over a similar option because of certain qualities they associate with your brand.
Online marketing helps boost brand awareness and recognition. At the very least, your company needs a professional website that offers details about your company, solutions, and contact information.
Uniforms with visible company logos not only make your team appear more professional, but it’s another way to advertise the company name.
Branded reports and other documents can be distributed to prospects during the sales process. A branded report reinforces your brand and formalizes your documents as well.
Use data to demonstrate value
Numbers don’t lie. That is why companies generally prefer quantitative data to qualitative information. Data tells many stories about performance, productivity, and ROI. The data is beneficial to clients and service providers as it helps them identify trends and make informed decisions.
Trend #3 – Security becomes everyone’s concern
A company will hire a security team to address threats and problems that can or currently impact the success of the business. But security is a team effort, and the more informed company staff are about security best practices, the safer the company will be.
If it makes sense, the security company can work with the client to develop a guide for staff that outlines company threats, and offers basic precautionary measures for staff to employ. For example, if a staff member is leaving the office late, they should not hold the building door open for a stranger who wants to enter the facility.
Trends carried over from 2022
In addition to the three trends listed above, the security industry will hang on to these trends from 2022.
The integration of physical security and cybersecurity
In the past, cybersecurity and physical security have been handled separately. But people now realize that they are a part of the same security strategy. Cybersecurity is essential for protecting online assets and avoiding expensive data breaches, but many cybersecurity issues emerge because of a physical security breach. Both are needed to protect a business.
Access control continues to remove barriers
Access control systems are becoming more seamless and secure. New technology is being used to prevent people from tailgating or gaining access to codes they should not have. Staff who must pass through these barriers regularly can use their smartphones, or other devices, to gain access to restricted areas.
Risk analysis remains in the spotlight
Security is about managing and mitigating risk, and companies have shifted their focus from responding to incidents to identifying potential risks before they occur. Not only does this help minimize disruptions to operations, but it can save businesses thousands of dollars every year. Risk analysts will continue to be in popular demand as businesses look to get ahead of costly security breaches.
AI-enabled video analytics becoming more accessible and useful
AI-enabled video analytics offer significant value; the technology has developed and is now more accessible and robust. With this technology, security companies can analyze data and draw out insights far more quickly than they could using manual techniques.
The powers and speed of AI position cameras to be used as a preventative tool instead of just a passive monitoring tool, allowing security professionals to stop crimes from occurring before they begin. With temperature and sound sensors, quality night vision, powerful lenses, and more, cameras remain an important security tool.