Cybersecurity, Facility Security, Security Hardware and Technology

Survey Explores the ‘Changing Role’ of Physical Security

Physical security continues to evolve from being seen as a tool for mitigating risk, to playing a much more significant role in organizations’ digital transformation, according to a new report from Genetec Inc.

Based on insights from over 2,000 physical security leaders from around the world, the report looks at how the role of physical security continued to evolve in 2021 as organizations adapted to changing conditions. The survey showed that more than two-thirds (69%) of respondents described physical security and related data as “mission-critical.” Larger organizations, in particular, are increasingly seeing value in the data gathered by their physical security systems, with over 46% saying they use their security systems as a way to “improve overall business efficiency, productivity, and asset optimization.”

Several survey respondents commented that they intended to invest in data management solutions to advance or improve the functionality of their physical security environment in the coming 12 months. The survey revealed that an increasing percentage of organizations (36%) are investing in unified solutions to enable the ease of maintenance, visibility, and data collection across all their systems to improve functionality and operations. This compares to 31% in a previous 2020 survey. Over half of all respondents (51%) also said they had invested in video analytics to improve the functionality of existing deployments and digitally transform their business processes.

“Before the pandemic, physical security’s role in business intelligence and operations was already growing, but over the last two years, it has proven to be a strategic asset in coping with a variety of challenges,” said Pervez R. Siddiqui, Vice President of Offerings and Transformation at Genetec. 

“As we emerge from the pandemic, organizations will contend with three undercurrents: changes in the physical dimension of work as workspaces evolve into hubs for collaboration and cohesion; workflow automation of the mundane in a bid to drive productivity and retention; and board-level interest in achieving operational resilience through integrated risk management.”

An Accelerated Move to the Cloud

With the pandemic forcing restricted access to physical sites, cloud-based solutions that enable organizations to remotely monitor video, control cameras, assess system health, perform maintenance, and update firmware/software have become invaluable, according to the report.

The survey showed that 45% of larger organizations (with over 1,000 employees) have already adopted cloud solutions, which is a significant increase compared to 2020, when only 26% of respondents said they had begun their cloud journey. A massive 94% of respondents said they have plans to deploy cloud or hybrid cloud solutions in the long term.

Access Control Investments Are Rising

When asked about the type of solutions they were planning to invest in to advance or improve their physical security environment in the next 12 months, over half of respondents (52%) picked access control.

“Legacy access control systems use outdated technology that leaves them vulnerable to cyber threats, and can cause damage beyond the door,” commented Thibaut Louvet, Director of Access Control Product Group at Genetec Inc. “So it is reassuring to see that organizations are taking the necessary steps to migrate their access control systems to more modern, cyber-secure access control systems.”

The full report is available for download here.