The rising prevalence of global risk factors, from industrial vulnerabilities to terrorist threats, will position physical security as a primary pillar for safety in the current era. According to estimates from Global Market Insights Inc., the physical security market is poised to cross $150 billion by 2027.
Businesses operating in the modern industrial landscape encounter risks at every stage, making security a key aspect of any business. However, most of the conversation pertaining to security in recent times centers around data and online security. As important as it is to ensure cybersecurity, physical security plays an equally important role in protecting the organization.
Although often overlooked, physical security management is also essential for a more holistic safety outlook. Security of physical assets involves the protection of data, software, hardware, and people from unprecedented events with the potential to cause loss or damage.
Over the years, physical security has become as important as cybersecurity for modern businesses, keeping them safe from myriad risks including vandalism, theft, and burglary, as well as natural disasters like fires or floods.
Government focus on physical safety measures intensifies amid escalating domestic terrorism threats
One of the most prominent drivers behind physical security industry growth is the rising number of terrorist attacks in developed nations. Despite considerable progress being made in counterterrorism activities, recent events like the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine have resulted in the emergence of new and diverse threats.
In nations like the U.S., the threat of domestic terrorism is looming large, with law enforcement agencies becoming targets from various sides of the political spectrum. In 2021, the military, law enforcement, and government were the primary targets for domestic attacks, accounting for nearly 43% of all attacks, based on estimates from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
This was evident from the unprecedented attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, aimed at preventing the certification of results from the 2020 elections. During this insurrection, several individuals gained unauthorized access, not just to the building, but to private offices, paper files, and other government assets that were left exposed. Events such as these are encouraging governments to secure themselves not only against cyberattacks, but also against unprecedented physical breaches, and have thus reinforced the importance of the physical security market.
To that end, in May 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced funding worth $1.6 billion for several preparedness grant programs in FY22, which could together help local and state officials prepare for and respond to terrorist threats and other hazards. One of these programs is the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which offers $250 million for physical security improvements, including target hardening in nonprofit organizations that are considered high-risk targets for terrorist attacks.
Unified surveillance systems emerge as key solutions to address the growing need for physical security in transportation
The security of physical assets is also becoming a key consideration in industries like transportation, which not only plays a key role in economic well-being, but also impacts the minutiae of daily life. Given the vast volume of people frequenting transit facilities, as well as the increasing importance of goods being carried on modes like ferries and ships, physical security has become a major concern for the transportation sector as it continues to evolve.
Once regarded just as a tool for mitigating risk, physical security management has now emerged as a major contributor to the digital transformation of several organizations, significantly reshaping the dynamics of the physical security market.
According to a survey conducted by Genetec, 69% of the 2,000 respondents described physical security and data as mission-critical for organizations. More than half (51%) of these respondents also claimed to have invested specifically in video analytics to further accelerate the digital transformation of their operations.
The transportation sector is a vital end-user of the physical security industry, specifically since physical security addresses several key challenges including the protection of employees and passengers, reduction of vandalism and crime along transportation routes, and timely responses to emergencies, to name a few. Operators are taking heed of this and are investing in the development of various unified systems that encompass advanced features like video surveillance to improve the physical security of their transportation operations and assets.
Traditionally, physical safety measures have been treated as standalone functions, separate from the functions of IT or data systems. In recent years, however, with systems and applications becoming increasingly cloud- or mobile-based, the protection of sensitive data and identities has become contingent on the balanced integration of cybersecurity and physical security strategies. In a sense, physical security is coming to be considered one of the foundations of cybersecurity in the current digitally powered business ecosystem.
This article was written by Saloni Walimbe on behalf of Global Market Insights. With an MBA-Marketing qualification under her belt, Walimbe is currently following her passion for content creation by penning insightful articles relating to global industry trends, business news, and market research.