Wed. Mar 25th, 2020

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A Look at How Physical Security Has Changed in the Last Decade

3 min read
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According to the Worldwide Threat Assessment in January 2019, cyber and chemical attacks have been on the rise internationally and domestically. Shootings, especially domestically, have been a significant source of physical insecurity. Many factors, including security technology and personnel on the ground, are a part of maintaining and reacting to threats. 

The industry itself is clearly growing, hitting $350 billion in combined private- and government-spending by 2019. Information technology, or IT, is a gigantic part of it, but security personnel make up the bulk. Let’s take a look at how physical security has changed in the last decade, and what we might be looking at this next decade.

Customer relations entered the picture

Very often, security personnel are the first line of defense in a building or compound. Before you can approach the concierge to ask for help or directions, you go through security. Private companies in particular cannot ignore this state of affairs. Any security guard can end up being filmed if they misrepresent the company in any way. 

This means that customer service skills are actively included for ground-level security. Security personnel become brand ambassadors, in a way, just as much as the concierge and other employees. Anything can be filmed and posted on social media. The sternest face of private companies, their security, adapted over the last decade. 

Tech-savviness is part of the job description

The uniform, the walkie-talkie, and the logbook are no longer the staples of what makes up security personnel. To effectively coordinate security in one area with multiple entrances and exits, instant recording and communication are needed. This means security networks linked to multiple mobile devices, with real-time updates. 

The template job description of a security guard now includes details like monitoring surveillance equipment, managing detection systems, and so forth. It is no longer only associated with visibility, but also with a certain level of tech-savviness. Hiring security personnel becomes a question of how quickly they can adapt to the current system. 

Preventative security is prioritized

Security personnel sitting in front of screens displaying CCTV feeds have become even more important. In fact, with cyber-crime, chemical attacks, and shooters reaching the news frequently, preventative security has become just as important as visible, reactive security. 

IT is a gigantic part of this–network maintenance and upkeep of all the security devices is necessary for accurate, real-time information and communication. Physical security is the combined effort of back-end monitoring and front-end visibility. Without this, a security team in the new decade can be far behind any threat. 

Physical security in the next decade

According to the Security Industry Association, what needs to be kept secure is already changing in definition. Now, data security is high on the priority list, edging out even visible physical security. A bombed lobby can be bad for image, but will not threaten the database. A hacked database will damage the company’s integrity. 

In the next decade, as cybersecurity continues to rise, there are likely to be more and more technological solutions to security challenges. Physical security and security personnel will need to adapt, finding how to position themselves as monitors, analysts, and responders to different kinds of security threats. 

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