Science fiction in novels and media has a proven track record of predicting future technology advances to fight crime and secure the public. Today, the convergence of physical security, IT infrastructure and cyber is commonplace. The old silos and proprietary solutions are giving way to open architectures, including hybrid and cloud services, to evolve security from reactive and responsive solutions to predictive and proactive platforms.
Innovative firms are merging the resources of electronic security teams and physical guarding services to redefine the future of the security industry. The most recent example being the merger of two great companies, Stanley Security into Securitas.
A transformation case in point is the security guard, perhaps the “most physical” example in the physical security industry. Private protection services date back to the ancient Romans and over the preceding millennium the industry growth has been global and across all sectors. While the physical guard position itself will always remain a centerpiece of the industry, the integration of intelligent sensor technologies will make the old “snoozing” guard caricature history.
The new model leverages real time intelligence from end points to machine learning algorithms across data lakes, to provide real time decision making and predictive analytics. The next generation of guarding services integrates multiple technologies to improve margins. That is the execution phase.
The rationale for this evolution includes not only technical advances but physical supply. Hiring and retaining competent guarding personnel is difficult, time consuming and expensive.
Adjacent to the guarding problem is a law enforcement community with record levels of early retirements and the worst recruitment numbers in decades. Rising crime rates are a national emergency in many U.S. cities. Guarding is in demand.
Robots and drones will augment guards at an increasing rate for performing mundane tasks, while providing improved coverage models and profits. The integration of sensor technologies extends guarding performance to new levels while multiplying physical scale as a principal requirement.
Robotics (think Fido bomb detectors) and drones (internal and external) patrolling indoors as well as outdoors 24x7x365 into areas where humans are not a fit (physically) or activities are simply too dangerous. Mobile drone patrols can track suspects on foot and in vehicles, while assisting or eliminating dangerous chases. The return on investment (ROI) of drones over manned patrols is compelling, as well as much safer.
Vison intelligence will evolve to provide 100% accuracy in facial and vehicle recognition applications across all environments, effectively countering public opposition in favor of proven technical advancements. These technology integrations will also become mobile and embedded into wearable uniforms. Miniature sensors and real time language translation will complement body cameras.
Integration to global security operations center (GSOC) monitoring will make real-time guarding decisions second nature as drones augment security patrols with updated intelligence feeds, incident reporting and Google maps to search for lost individuals or respond to medical emergencies. Integration into existing guard force software will be commonplace and provide new high value services for their customers.
Intrusion detection will evolve from door and window sensor breaches alerting a monitoring center and dispatching guards, to creating an invisible trip wire boundary in the sky. Innovative guard forces will pivot aggressively to service this new niche market to secure low altitude airspace and counter unauthorized drones “as a service.” Laggards will simply watch as the quadcopter drone threats to people, property and information assets simply fly over their heads, as well as the line of sight of camera systems.
The security guarding professional of the future is evolving today at global companies like Securitas, Allied Universal and Prosegur, to name a few. The new model combines physical guarding, electronic systems and sensors focused on continuously improving security as a service.
Robocop Redux (Revived) has evolved to be sensor centric and the future of guarding is changing forever, and quickly for the winners who capitalize on the industry transition.