Security sector leaders SWOT Analysis for 2020: Threats
We asked a range of senior representatives from security organisations to contribute to a SWOT analysis, focusing on Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for the security sector in 2020. Many security professionals will be familiar with a SWOT analysis: the management technique for assessing you or your organisation’s position before embarking on a new strategy. In this article, we have used this powerful tool to assess the security sector from all angles, with views from leaders in security who are at the forefront of taking the sector forward in 2020.
In this final part, highly pertinent to the security sector, what are the Threats in 2020 and how should we be prepared for them?
Amanda McCloskey, Sales & Marketing Director, CIS Security
Security is a fundamental responsibility of government, companies and communities alike. In the last few years, the UK – and the whole world – has been confronted with rapidly changing threats. I see two new main intertwined threats, apparently unrelated, constituting a source of risk for our communities in the upcoming future: terrorism, which has widened its reach and destructiveness, and climate change.
In the near future, new climate conditions will drive larger and larger masses of people seeking food, water, shelter and work. Climate change threatens unrest and extremism as competition for dwindling resources, especially water, spreads out. Under these conditions, extremism will increasingly find willing recruits. New climate conditions, new geographic realities, changes in economic and commercial circumstances and pressures of migrating populations – all of this will test the current status quo. All of this is just the foretaste we can expect, should we fail to address urgently the threats posed by climate change to our security.
The UK and the rest of the world are confronted by the related threats of climate change which can jeopardise lives, property, our economic health and – potentially – our very way of life. As such, they constitute a clear and present danger to the global national security. The cascading consequences of global warming are serious: insufficient water supplies, shifting rainfall patterns, disruption to agriculture human migrations, more failing states, increased extremism and even new wars. These predictable consequences can strain the capacity of the UK and its allies to adapt and meet the challenges of the upcoming years.
To meet these threats, preventative policies must be put in place to become more efficient across our entire economy, investing in renewable energy technologies. If we heed these warnings, our national security will grow as a consequence.
See related article Global Strategic Trends for Security
Amanda was winner of the Contribution to Industry category at the 2019 Women in Security Award.
Nick Smith, Regional Sales Manager, Genetec
Cyber security is and will continue to be a significant concern for the industry, even those dealing predominantly with physical security. Not only are cyber attacks increasing in size and volume, they are also becoming more sophisticated and costly. In fact, by 2021, cybercrime will cost the world an estimated £4.8 trillion annually (it currently costs the UK over £130 billion annually), making it more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined.
This means the security industry needs to be proactive in how it tackles the growing number of threats clients face. An education piece is now vital on the security of security – we can put defences in place but if, for example, the default password on a camera isn’t changed, then it is vulnerable to attack. End users must be aware of these door-openers for criminals and eradicate them, with the industry’s help.
Alongside the growing number of threats and their scale, another issue is how devices are now connected. It’s never been easier to bring down a complete security system thanks to IoT, and very quickly too. This makes it all the more pertinent to have a clear view of security operations at all times. Security should no longer be a room full of CCTV, with guards watching them like hawks to identify suspicious behaviour. Security needs to work around people in their modern-day lifestyle – so on their phone and on the go.
More and more security systems will adopt this approach, so people can deal with potential threats like credential abuse whilst away from their desk, to ensure no delay in halting the threat.
See related articles in our Cyber Security category.
Andy Kynoch, Managing Director, ICTS UK & Ireland
As we come to the end of 2019 and look forward to 2020, I believe the threats to our security are clear.
Firstly, the ongoing and expansive nature of cybercrime to governments, organisations, businesses and individuals. However, as security measures from the physical security and IT security converge, we are creating our best chance of protecting against cybercrime. As with other areas, these security measures work best when everyone works together.
Secondly, the continuing international and national threat from terrorist attacks. We know that at least 19 attacks in the UK have been thwarted in the last 2 years. Irrespective that the threat level has recently been lowered to Substantial, we must maintain high vigilance against all aspects of terrorism, both those involved directly security and the wider community.
Thirdly, the current political unrest and unease in society, with increased legal, peaceful protest as well as the illegal demonstrations, marches and events are causing extra pressure on policing and security.
The worrying increase in violent crime, not least knife crime, is a significant concern for all. I would urge that more is done to tackle this appalling crime by addressing the grassroot problems and by promoting initiatives within the wider community.
However, it is clear that there is tremendous strength, enthusiasm and commitment from the security sector, whether working in partnership with the Police, with other organisations and individually to continue to protect our people, properties and communities.