The security industry and the nature of crime itself are changing, and rapidly. In the future, chances are you will worry more about someone stealing your money “digitally,” rather than some form of physical theft or traditional robbery.

Add to this the tremendous ability of video surveillance to improve image quality and coverage scale, including the integration of video analytics software and sensors, and our “physical space” (homes, business, and public areas) will certainly be more secure, resulting in physical crime reductions and increased prosecution percentages. Physical security is improving as cyber crime explodes.

So where does this leave the integrators wanting to be recognized as the “best of the best” in future issues of SDM? Looking for emerging niche markets.

I see a shake-out occurring in the physical security integrator market over the next 18 months. The integrator market has had enough time to get “IP enabled” from a networking support standpoint, and to understand storage solutions: the “BIG Two” of IT architecture. If your business is not prolific in these areas at this time, you may need to segment into specialty areas of expertise. Your value as a hardware technology integrator partner is limited. The good news is that there are security opportunities in the supply chain segment if you are open to new business ideas.

Moving forward, the cloud will embrace small, medium business (SMB) for reasons of both security and cost savings. Symantec, a global security software firm, conducted a study in October 2011 and found that “40 percent of small businesses do not have a contingency plan outlining procedures for responding to, and reporting, a data breach or loss.” This is at a time when crime — both cyber and physical — is at record levels.

The SMB segment is also a target for criminals based on the weak link theory of going where the personnel are lacking. This is essentially a SMB market living “without insurance.” They cannot afford the IT and security expertise, so the cloud is the only logical answer, besides prayer.

How much of your revenues today are SMB-based? Are the solutions you provide a potential offering on cloud platforms? These providers certainly have plans to up-sell cloud-based services. Can you embrace a cloud-based application provider to leverage this trend in your SMB base?

The Verizon Cyber report in 2010 stated that 33 percent of third parties had access to the critical customer data of their partners. Kroll Security, a global risk management firm, in tandem with The Economist Magazine, did a 2011 / 2012 study of 1,200 executives and found that 60 percent of crime against firms was insider-generated. Today, Booz Allen Hamilton, the global consulting firm, states that they have not seen a “business of significance” that has not been breached.

The nature of crime and security is changing. Are you ready? How can the security integrator protect the business operations (read: supply chain) of their existing clients and potential customers? This is a major, multifaceted problem that needs solutions. Can you specialize in one area and differentiate yourself at a time when securing business operations are critical?

I have lived through technology cycles before in both general trends and specific industry segments. Momentum builds slowly with early adopters, but then enters a significant momentum stage before most of the supporting market is ready for it. This “new crime tipping point” is where the physical security integrator is today. While the only constant is change, be conscious that the rate of change is accelerating.

The security author and visionary Marc Goodman speaks about a cyber crime tipping point when discussing the concept of Cyber Crime as a Service (CCaaS). The new normal of digital crime is to offer tools and trade for sale as easily as you would buy a book on You can even rate the crime based on your satisfaction. The real issue is how can you get in front of crime trends (predictive stage) and apply that knowledge to existing security defenses to measure how well your business is actually protected in relation to “continuous” threats? This applies to the physical security domain, which is increasingly digital in nature. The security game is changing. Today digital crime has surpassed both physical crime and illegal drugs in annual revenues. The digital tipping point of crime has arrived.