Technology changing faster.

For security managers and integrators left breathless by the pace of technological change over the last 5 years one thing is certain – there’s not going to be any let up in the next 5 years. If anything, things are going to change faster still. There are signs upgrades are getting faster and more lateral, as the latest systems become more open.

AT the heart of technological changes over time are core things like processing power, developments in network infrastructure, falls in price and re-imaginings of the user interface. These things are constant. But the next 5 years will deliver on some building trends that are going to need to be carefully managed.

Artificial intelligence is one of these trends. It’s been coming for decades but with many countries, including Australia, taking different layers of citizen ID biometric, and most manufacturers starting to deliver on past ROI promises, it’s clear that AI is going to be central to the future of our systems. It will make them more efficient, more powerful and more frightening. The paradox of AI is that it will need to be kept on a short leash to achieve its full potential – whether we’re already past that point of control remains to be seen.

Secure and trusted communications and networks is another trend that must be taken in hand. That means security managers and integrators need to ensure their systems are protected and the data those systems gather is defended. This is more challenging than it sounds and the larger your application/s, the harder it’s going to be. There’s a reason the U.S. Government maintains the only way it can secure multiple agencies effectively is via one secure cloud – JEDI. When it comes to cyber security, AI is going in intrude here, too, in the form of attack and defence.

Trust is a nebulous, challenging, real concept. Smarter solutions with the capacity to facilitate closer relationships with an organisation’s staff, as well as the public, live by trust. That means systems need to be managed more closely using global protocols that don’t impinge on privacy or the rights of staff and citizens. This is going to be hard to wrangle but given the power of future technology, it must be managed to exacting standards and its potential power makes the impact of technological derailment more intense. Staff and the public are going to take a dim view of any organisation that breaches trust in the future. This is going to impact on how security managers handle AI for access events and video searches, as well as whether they use data analysis to keep an eye on staff communications.

We’re going to see a more focused system of technology partnerships. This will mean that manufacturers are going to need to ensure future equipment is designed to be more open. For many end users, end-to-end proprietary systems make technology partnerships harder and limit the scope for security teams to leverage the efficiencies of new technologies. Further, business processes and traditional security functions are beginning to leverage the same technologies. Security managers will need to make tough decisions based on wider operational goals to ensure they get solutions best equipped for a more fluid future.

We’ve been talking about smart cities for a while but perhaps what we were really talking about was smarter workplaces. When you think about the latest electronic security and safety solutions, what they strive to deliver is a global view. Situational awareness is more about empowering law enforcement, security and management teams than about empowering collections of buildings. The future is likely to broaden this awareness by including inputs from dynamic environments to assist with managing disasters, proactively responding to incidents using automation, managing movement and delivering wide area duplex communications. Here more than anywhere, developments in networks are going to be central – particularly widespread 4G and later, 5G.

Talking about communications feeds into the way users will interact with systems and networks in the future. Google says search numbers on mobile devices are now greater than those on computers. For security managers this means use of biometric-enabled smart devices for authentication on converged applications is well and truly on the table. It also means smart devices are a viable way for security and safety systems to communicate with staff and the public. There’s increasing use of voice assist, too. Such technologies could be leveraged to enhance security procedures by interrupting device operations with audible and visual emergency alerts.

Government and corporate security people are going to get a close look at the latest security technologies at Security & Government Expo at the Realm Hotel in Canberra on November 12. They’ll also hear about the latest trends in security management at the concurrent SAGE ASIS seminars. Given the enormity, power and risk of many of the changes sweeping through security technology, SAGE 2018 is not an event to be missed.

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