physical security

Artificial intelligence tops 2021 physical security trends

by Caroline Bottger

At its annual “Securing New Ground” conference, the Security Industry Association (SIA) identified the ten megatrends that will define physical security going into 2021. Perhaps unsurprisingly, artificial intelligence is at the top of the list, followed by cybersecurity of physical security and predictive data analytics, with the movement to service models rounding out the list.

Overall, the trends illustrate the ever-evolving role that technology plays in modern physical security, particularly when it comes to threat detection. Artificial intelligence, especially applications like deep learning, could help security teams better detect and respond to threats. Furthermore, with many security teams working remotely due to COVID-19, physical spaces have new security needs that can’t be addressed immediately on-site.

Notably, facial recognition is further down the list, coming in at number seven. Technological obstacles persist in applying it effectively. In addition, the sector has experienced mounting resistance from the public: facial recognition company Clearview AI’s alarming practices and partnerships, which came to light in January this year, was another nail in the coffin. Interestingly, an emphasis on data privacy was near the bottom, at number nine. According to a June 2020 Axios-Ipsos poll, only 35 percent of those polled would trust a technology company with their personal data.

According to surveys of SIA members and conference speakers, the 2021 security megatrends are:

  1. Artificial intelligence
  2. Cybersecurity of physical security
  3. Predictive data analytics
  4. Connectivity and the IoT of everything
  5. Cloud computing
  6. Touchless and frictionless solutions
  7. Facial recognition
  8. Responsive environments and intelligent spaces
  9. Emphasis on data privacy
  10. Move to service models

The full report will be available for download in December 2020.

Caroline Bottger is a freelance writer who writes on issues of technology, privacy, and security. 
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