Security thought-leaders look ahead to 2014
We asked the following thought-leaders in security organisations: what are the emerging trends, key challenges and opportunities for the world of security in 2014?
- Don Randall, MBE, Chair, City of London Crime Prevention Association
- Emma Shaw, MBA, Chairman, Security Institute (at time of writing)
- Adrian Leppard, QPM, MBA, Commissioner, City of London Police (at time of writing)
- Jeff Little, OBE, Chief Executive, NSI (at time of writing)
- Andy Trotter, OBE, QPM, Chief Constable, British Transport Police (at time of writing)
- Gloria Laycock, OBE, BSc, PhD, Professor of Crime Science, University College London
- Mike Alexander, BEM, MSc, Chairman, ASIS International UK Chapter (at time of writing)
- Sue Seaby, Chair, Women’s Security Society (at time of writing)
- Nick Pickles, Director, Big Brother Watch (at time of writing)
- James Kelly, Chief Executive, British Security Industry Association
Don Randall, MBE, Chair, City of London Crime Prevention Association
There will always remain a continuous terrorism and extremist threat to all those engaged with security, whether this be from local, national or international groups or from individuals who are radicalised. Likewise, in my opinion, civil unrest will remain an ongoing feature for several years to come, spanning all age groups with a variety of causes of discontent. Working with partnerships such as Project Griffin and the CSSC initiative will undoubtedly seek to mitigate the consequences of these activities.
The continuing development of technology will maximise cyber-enabled crime. This is already a significant activity causing detriment to individuals and businesses alike. The SME community is particularly vulnerable and we should seek to partner and share preventative initiatives in this arena.
The ever-continuing debate around ‘bundled’ or specific security provision will continue in 2014 and beyond. Irrespective of whichever provision is applied, it is essential that engagement with law enforcement and partnership initiatives are maintained and exercised. Hopefully, a hardening of the future licensing of security providers, security personnel and the use of regulation around CCTV and other security provisions will occur during 2014. It is good to see authorities are liaising with the end users in these important areas of regulation. As business growth starts to increase, I would hope to see investment in research and development within our industry and a heightened education and awareness programme.
As a strong proponent of academic qualification from within our industry, I am hopeful of the Chartered Security Professional accreditation continuing to grow and that other areas of academic endorsement are pursued within the industry and partnerships with education authorities. Attitudes are changing and there is clear acknowledgement of the security professional and the important role they play in an organisation’s success and, more importantly, to sustain and maintain safety and security within our residential business and commercial sectors.
Emma Shaw, MBA, Chairman, Security Institute
International terrorist organisations, home grown protest groups and anti-social behaviour all continued to pose threats to national security during 2013. A similar level of vigilance
will be needed to thwart any future attacks, especially during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. At the same time, the threat from cyber crime is persistent and constantly evolving – data breaches, identity theft and fraud are now commonplace.
While the phone hacking of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has grabbed the headlines, companies of all sizes must secure their communications networks. Those that utilise mobile working cite numerous benefits to their businesses but the “bring your own device” (BYOD) model presents an increased security threat to corporate networks.
Making security an integral part of any organisation and getting it fully represented at boardroom level is one of the biggest challenges facing the sector. Although things are moving in the right direction, there’s much to do and we need to see more
security professionals becoming C-suite level executives. This should also increase the strong appetite for academic and vocational CPD that is already apparent and I expect more people to achieve qualifications and certifications such as The Security Institute’s Chartered Security Professional designation during 2014.
Adrian Leppard, QPM, MBA, Commissioner, City of London Police (at time of writing)
2013 has seen the issue of cyber security – personally and professionally – rise up the news agenda and figure more prominently on the risk registrars of public and private sector organisations. People have a greater awareness of their digital footprint and are starting to question just how secure and how private the social media profiles they have developed in recent times. At the same time, companies are (unfortunately it is still a case of some and not all) are wising up to the fact that rapid advances in technology are creating both substantial benefits and an increased threat to their operations. Storing data in the clouds (computing) and using online platforms to reach mass audiences is a more efficient and effective way to do business, but the payback must be greater investment in IT systems to protect from the hacker outside and the corrupt employee inside. Those firms that are yet to fully accept this new reality and make the necessary provisions could be playing Russian roulette with their fortunes in 2014. The good news is that in 2013 Government and law enforcement have given themselves better tools to fight today’s, and tomorrow’s, cyber-criminal. This is borne out nationally by the creation of the National Cyber Crime Unit, acting as the glue that binds together the three commands within the National Crime Agency, and locally through the City of London Police’s new Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit and the enhanced ability of its National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to understand and combat E-crime. These units are evidence of how policing, while continuing to focus on the bread and butter of keeping the streets safe and free of crime, is also adapting to a world where online crime is prevalent and cyber security is paramount, individually and collectively. As the Commissioner of the National Police Service Lead for Economic Crime I look forward to my force being at the very heart of this matter in 2014.
Jeff Little, OBE, Chief Executive, NSI (at time of writing)
Just about everyone owns a smartphone these days. Many also possess a tablet device in addition. I believe that 2014 will see the expansion of ‘home management’ or ‘home automation’ systems enabled by such end-user devices. These devices will allow individuals to control a variety of systems no matter where that person is located at the time – be they in their office or on holiday. The range of capabilities will include energy management, lighting and heating control and, of course, security systems.
Allowing remote access to visitors or tradesmen will be possible. Using wireless cameras to see what is happening inside your home will be simple. Setting alerts for situations demanding action or intervention will be enabled. Triggering lights to turn on automatically when a door is unlocked will be possible so owners will never have to walk directly into a dark space. This increased situational awareness and security consciousness will allow home owners to interact directly with their lights, their sensors and their locks. It will bring a new dimension to security, further reduce false alarms and give confidence to homeowners. The forces of law and order should be prepared for some calls from far-flung locations.
Andy Trotter, OBE, QPM, Chief Constable, British Transport Police (at time of writing)
Crime on Britain’s railways has fallen every year for the last nine years. A few years ago robbery was a major problem in London but is now a rare occurrence; and cable theft, once a real threat to the railway, has been reduced by over 50% last year.
Mainline termini, which some years ago were fairly unpleasant places, to be hurried through as quickly as possible, are now places of public resort with shops, bars and restaurants and are no longer havens for beggars, drunks and drug dealers.
These achievements are a result of good partnership between the railways, private security and BTP. For all of the successes of recent years, many challenges remain: the recent increase in theft of mobile phones and concerns over anti-social behaviour and disorder remain high on our agenda, and we are working with our partners to reduce those problems.
The railway is booming with year on year increases in passengers and we in BTP need to respond to the demand for more availability, reassurance, and crime and disorder reduction. There will be no increase in budgets so we have set out to produce up to 200 more front line staff from existing resources to deal with our strategic aims of reducing crime, reducing disruption and increasing confidence. To find those resources we are making further reductions in senior officers and back office costs to make a significant shift to the front line where passengers and staff want to see us.
Gloria Laycock, OBE, BSc, PhD, Professor of Crime Science, University College London
Crimes reported to the police are still reducing and there is no reason to suppose that this won’t continue into 2014, but somehow it doesn’t feel like that. Small things, like increases in begging, and hidden things like online fraud, remind us that there is still a lot of work to be done. The ever-present threat of terrorist attack or the online disruption of business practices are not going away any time soon. To make matters worse there is a significant skills gap in dealing with these threats.
There is some good news though. We are all aware of the need to work differently with fewer resources. This has become something of a mantra. But the Economic and Social Research Council, together with the new College of Policing, has funded a consortium of UK universities to develop a database on what works in crime reduction and a programme of training to get these ideas out to the police and others. The products from this programme will be coming off the assembly line as we move into 2014. This work will not remove the need for good judgement in senior staff, but it should mean that judgement is better informed by what we know works, and importantly, how it works. Watch this space.
Mike Alexander, BEM, MSc, Chairman, ASIS International UK Chapter (at time of writing)
The threats to be considered for 2014: Whilst terrorism, both domestic and international, remains prevalent, I expect to see a sharp increase in IT/Cyber related attacks on business and organisations. We live in a technological world and the existing and new perpetrators have the skills, knowledge and resolve to deliver a critical threat to the very heart of a business’s information infrastructure.
Key Changes to the industry: To those of us with a few years under our belts, the very early images of security bring back memories of a night watchman huddled around a blazing brazier of coke (the fossil fuel variety) and supping from an old tin mug while roasting a few chestnuts. When it was discovered there was a need for organised bodies of security employees, and that companies (especially those in the private sector) were prepared to pay for these services, a new industry was born.
Opportunities / Priorities for 2014: Even now, there’s little recognition outside the industry that security is a profession that can lead to a career. Those working within the industry can have a good career path developed through training and clearly defined managed development and education. Nowadays, client organisations demand management individuals with good business acumen and those who can understand today’s requirements in what is an ever-evolving market. Security convergence is upon us and the merger of IT and physical security is the future, given the rise in IT related treats; this is the way forward.
Sue Seaby, Chair, Women’s Security Society (at time of writing)
In 2013 the Women’s Security Society (WSS) created a forum to inspire women by hosting events with exciting speakers. Feedback from members and sponsors is helping to shape our vision. In 2014, we will continue to reach out to academics and practising security professionals to come together and shape the future of security.
Our membership base, including both women and men, grew significantly to circa 450 in 2013. This inspires our Board to push the promotion of the Society even further. For the benefit of members and wider supporters, we will continue to grow. As the Women’s Security Society’s network increases so opportunities for our members will expand and multiply. In fact, one such initiative for 2014 will be the introduction of a mentoring programme.
The success of the WSS has been made possible through the support of sponsors, government departments and commercial businesses, who believe in the need for diversity within the Security profession and the WSS’ vision of a society that encompasses all aspects of the industry. This collaboration will continue to enable us to hold events with a difference, ones that inspire, foster relationships, highlight career opportunities, encourage convergence between security disciplines and raise awareness of gender equality issues.
Nick Pickles, Director, Big Brother Watch (at time of writing)
Next year we’ll hear the next stage in the communications data debate around IP address resolution, albeit in the newly enlightened post-Snowden world. The pressure on businesses and governments to be transparent about the use of surveillance powers will be a major issue I expect – and one we’ll be campaigning on.
If Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry does commence, the debate about data protection will be back in the headlines and we will hear much more about corporate use of private investigators and undercover policing abuses.
I am sure cyber will continue to be high on the agenda, with the reputational risk attached to incidents continuing to grow; however, the softer side of security – from new technology in buildings using facial recognition or tracking phone locations – will be more prevalent and raise serious privacy concerns.
We will also begin to see if the new CCTV Code of Practice is having any effect and how the ICO’s ruling in Royston changes ANPR use, both challenges for the security industry, especially as the new year brings even smaller cameras and cheaper UAV-mounted systems.
James Kelly, Chief Executive, British Security Industry Association
Our industry’s key focus for early 2014 will continue to be the development of a new regulatory regime, with implementation set to begin relatively soon. Ensuring that the new regime shapes up in the way industry expected will be especially important to the BSIA, having represented our members – and the industry at large through the Security Regulation Alliance – since the government’s initial announcement over three years ago. Clarity on the cost of the new regulatory regime is a crucial next step, and we will be strengthening our political engagement to ensure that our industry is adequately prepared for change.
Looking outside the UK, exporting will continue to play an important role in supporting our country’s economic recovery, and the UK’s security manufacturers have much to offer customers around the world. The issue of third-party certification continues to act as a significant obstacle to increased overseas business for our industry, so continued representation on European standards committees will enable the BSIA to play an influential role in breaking down the barriers to international trade.
Dr. Alison Wakefield, BA, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth
The major challenge for individual security practitioners is the continuing diversification of threats so that their work becomes ever more complex. In order to address the challenges ahead, organisations will need to harness a more diverse range of skill sets in their workforce. Security practitioners are likely to face increasing competition in the job market from younger and potentially better educated candidates who may come from ‘sister’ disciplines such as information security or business continuity.
There is a strong appetite in security for educational development, but it is important for individuals engaging in education to recognise why this is so important (beyond simply achieving a set of qualifications in order to distinguish oneself from the next candidate) and seek to maximise their learning opportunities. Among its many benefits, education fosters the ability to critically appraise evidence and effectively generate one’s own data to support evidence-based professional practice (e.g. in the assessment of risk or management of performance), better problem-solving and communication skills, and an understanding of the nature, importance and application of systematic processes for doing things, as reflected in the growing array of ISO and BS standards that are relevant to security risk management.
My recommendation for 2014 is, therefore, for readers to consider the great opportunities that accompany a constantly evolving threat landscape, and identify how targeted professional development activities can equip them better for the future.