The evolving role of security
Craig Robb, Chief Commercial Officer, Securitas UK, discusses the pace and breadth of change in technology and digital innovation in the security sector.
The impact of technology on the security industry cannot be overstated. Over the past ten years we have moved from traditional guarding models toward value driven, predictive total security solutions. And the pace of change, and its effect, is only now starting to be realised by our clients.
Meeting the requirements for security
The basic needs of our industry remain largely unchanged: we are still required to protect people, property and our client’s profit. Irrespective of sector, technology is delivering cost efficient, enhanced security solutions, without compromising either the safety or security of the client.
People have always been an integral element of any physical security company and still remain pivotal in most protective services solutions. The onset of technology is, however, redefining the role of the security officer, shifting the people aspect from commodity to a key conduit and enabler in the execution of enhanced risk mitigation strategies.
Gone are the days where security officers can only ‘review the video tapes’ after an incident has occurred. Intelligent, automated systems can now alert human operators by motion sensor when a potential incident is developing. Far from replacing the need for eyes and ears, these new technologies are changing the very nature of traditional officer responsibilities. This change is hugely positive in our industry and has resulted in an emerging trend of better trained and better paid officers.
As we look toward the future, we can expect even more transformation and development.
Flying drones will become the norm in support of regular patrolling and rapid response. Virtual assistants will work alongside receptionists, and officers, having completed their training in a virtual reality replica of the environment in which they will be deployed, will interact with augmented reality on client sites, whilst undertaking their operational duties.
Sensors will be a key feature of any solution, broadening the status quo to feature non-visual capabilities, and delivering multi-dimensional data that will enable faster and more accurate assessment of situations. Ultimately, this will result in real time escalation and the activation or deployment of an appropriate response.
Lighting will become a key enabler in the enhancement of protective services capability, with cost efficient systems able to detect individuals anywhere in a building as well as escorting them out in the case of fire.
Open source intelligence when combined with incident, sector and customer data will continue to facilitate tailored resource to risk- based operational deployments, but the greatest catalyst for change is yet to come and will inevitably evolve from the combination of open source intelligence and the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Interoperability of multiple systems
Managing data from on-site officers, mobile vehicles, smoke and gas sensors to video surveillance, access control, lights, loudspeakers, air conditioning, elevators to coffee machines, light switches and automatic doors – when combined with big data, officers and the security companies they work for – will have absolute situational awareness, delivered in real time.
For those security organisations able to stay ahead and invest into machine and deep learning architectures, the future is particularly bright. By harnessing and utilising the huge data sets which they generate on a daily basis, real time dynamic predictive protective security solutions will soon become a reality.
This ‘new reality’ will result in levels of risk mitigation that have been previously inconceivable, the impact of which will re-define our industry entirely, and indeed how we service our clients.
The digital revolution is set to continue at pace; the ongoing paradigm shift and the security companies affected by it, will be defined by their ability to combine people, technology and knowledge.
Chief Commercial Officer, Securitas UK