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Top Emerging Trends in Physical Security for 2022

By Daniel Young | November 18, 2021 | 4 min read
2022 physical security trends

The past couple of years have been unprecedented for everyone, including workers in the security industry. So what’s next for physical security? We’ve put together a list of things of security trends you can expect to see in 2022.

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10 emerging trends in security in 2022

1. The C-suite will realize that cybersecurity is security. For years, cybersecurity and physical security have been siloed from each other, and at many companies, each has had its own seat in the c-suite: the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). But that’s changing; 2021 has shown us how closely information security and physical security are linked. You need look no further than Facebook’s October outage, which also physically locked engineers out of their own sites. In 2022, we’re going to see that reality reflected as top security positions merge.This may not necessarily mean that both positions will be consolidated into the Chief Security Officer’s role. Rather, we’ll see an adaptation; the Chief Security Risk Officer.



2. Risk, not security, will be a major focus. Security, in all its forms, is about managing and mitigating risk. As organizations realize the importance of risk, physical security, information risk, and human resources – another department that manages risk – is going to be the new emphasis. Security, IT Risk and HR will fall under security risk.



3. Risk analysis will become increasingly important. As organizations start focusing more on risks, risk analysts will become an increasingly important part of every security team. Companies will start looking more closely at data, and how it can help them predict threats and the likelihood of risks.



4. The rise of the smart GSCO. Global Security Operations Centers (GSCOs) have been around a long time; they’re a place where security staff can monitor camera feeds, officer schedules and other day-to-day security issues. However, as data becomes more important the GSCO is likely to change as well, becoming a center where risks can be monitored and analyzed. This will go beyond camera footage — smart GSCOs are likely to be connected to technology within the site, and integrated, monitoring data such as social media mentions, employee travel and other potential risks. GSOCs will take a proactive approach to the reduction of risk. And with this increasing responsibility, security analysts will be at the forefront of the new security culture.



5. Companies will invest in robotic guard devices. Security officers are essential — particularly if your insurance requires them — but they’re expensive, especially if they’re just on site for patrols and access control. With hourly rates on the rise, we’re likely to see more robotic devices controlling access and even patrolling perimeters, especially on night shifts. That’s unlikely to eliminate guards completely — it will just take care of the grunt work and leave the problem-solving and decision making to one or two officers. There are distinct advantages to robotics over personnel other than the obvious cost savings and these will be increasingly realized. A hybrid approach to security using both personnel and personnel will be necessary for the newly emerging threats and hazards.



6. Proving competence will be critical. We’ve known for a long time that training your employees to know security procedures is important, but training isn’t enough, and security leaders are beginning to understand that. Expect to see more testing in 2022, whether that means penetration tests to test workers’ response to a cyber attack, or tabletop exercises that simulate an incident. This is not just testing competency for security but all employees. Security is everyone’s responsibility and a culture that adopts this will be a safer one.



7. Training will change. With so many people working remotely, online training has had to replace traditional instructor-led training in many workplaces. Tabletop exercises, which often require several people sitting in one room, will have to change as well. We’re likely to see videogames step in to address this challenge in the next few years, allowing remote workers to participate in simulations and tabletops without having to travel to one site.

8. Access control is evolving. Access control has been changing a lot over the last decade and next year is likely to continue the trend. Rather than using a badge to grant access, some companies are already using employees’ keychains, wallets, smartphones and other devices. Some businesses may even go as far as using microchips in their workers’ arms, although there is legislation in some states that prohibits companies from requiring workers to get chipped.


9. Automated vehicles will become more widespread. Self-driving vehicles are already being used for deliveries by Walmart, which started experimenting with the technology earlier this year. As more organizations start incorporating self-driving vehicles into their supply chain, security experts will need to weigh the risks of such vehicles being hacked, rerouted, or suffering other such attacks. Increasing the effectiveness of the supply chain for companies is critical, however with progress can also have risks. Protecting the vital cargo will be a challenge with the new advancements in this space.

10. Drone security will become more important. Drones have been entering regular use at some organizations over the last few years, helping provide surveillance of hard to reach areas, footage for news organizations who previously relied on helicopters, and deliveries for DHL. The same concerns about autonomous vehicles should be considered for drones — can they be compromised by hackers or even physical attacks, and what are the risks associated with an attack on drones?

What challenges will your business face in 2022? Contact us now about assessing your security, and make a plan for the next year.

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