The top 5 security technology trends for 2016

by Elizabeth Kennedy on Feb 11, 2016 5:05:16 PM

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Trending now: the future of security integration. 2016 will be a year of developing existing security technologies and exploring innovations in the security industry. We explored what the security industry is buzzing about and consolidated the top five trends.

Near Field Communications for Access Control

By now most of us have heard of Near Field Communications (NFC) and its applications in different sectors. Now, the trend is developing that NFC is being used in access control. As an example, phones can be equipped with a Near Field Communications (NFC) device that allows the device to authenticate with the reader. The reader must authenticate with the NFC device in the mobile device, creating a dual authentication. This mutual authentication allows for greater security and less threats from badge skimming and replay attacks.

An example of NFC in action is case study at a company headquarters in order to study the effects of their mobile access system. The pilot program included an app-based authentication in which pilot users downloaded an app and opened it to access the facility. Although the outfitter cited that there were still opportunities for improvement within the technology, the survey results yielded extremely positive feedback. The overwhelming majority of the survey participants felt that the application for unlocking a door was intuitive and described it as easy to use. The majority of participants also said that they would want to use a smartphone to open all locked doors at the company. Even a positive impression was left on employees because this company chose to participate in this innovative pilot program: many survey respondents said testing and deploying mobile access makes their company a more fun and exciting place to work.

Expect NFC technology to continue to be on the rise throughout 2016.


Drone Technology

There's no question that drones are here to stay - and as much as they may pose a security threat, this incredible technology can also be leveraged to enhance electronic security.

A Japanese innovator has recently created a drone designed specifically to detect unwanted intruders and follow them as they try to escape. This drone functions autonomously, resting in a charging station until it detects an intruder on the premises. They are not tied to a single location and can be equipped with advanced surveillance cameras that are capable of license plate recognition (LPR) and motion detection. Some experts even claim that if perfected, drones such as these will become strong options for security on college campuses and in sports stadiums.

On the flip side of the coin, concern is escalating about drones as a threat to security. With more than 181,000 drones registered with the FAA as of January 8, 2016 since the inception of the program on December 21, 2015, it is safe to assume that more encounters with drones are to be expected in the coming years.1 The aviation industry faces particular challenges with defending against drones. In the first eight months of 2015 pilot reports of unmanned aircrafts increased to more than 650, when in the entire year prior pilot reports stand at only 238.2 Meanwhile, firefighters in the western parts of the United States were forced to halt their operations because of drones. Drones prevented firefighters from protecting inhabitants of the surrounding areas by interfering with firefighting efforts.

For better or for worse, drones will play a role in the security industry in 2016.


Biometrics in Access Control

Biometric systems use pattern recognition and biometric data from a person, such as fingerprints, irises, hand geometrics, voice patterns, or DNA information. These systems uses a database to match the biometric information and grant access to employees. One of the benefits of biometric access technology is that employees don’t always need to carry authentication to gain access in a facility outfitted with a biometric access control system.

Biometric access technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in high-risk facilities. Law Enforcement industries enjoy the benefits of biometric technology for both access control and citizen-tracking and identification.

Biometrics will continue to advance in 2016, allowing for more sophisticated uses in and access control.


The Cloud

The ever-expanding cloud offers endless opportunity for growth throughout the security industry. The cloud is already widely used for access control, and with a proper network scenario it also has massive potential benefits within video surveillance and storage. Clients are able to move physical security to an IT-hosted environment which allows for expert service and higher availability. Utilizing the cloud provides flexibility and allows a company to do more, even with a smaller budget.

The cloud can be leveraged to facilitate virtual guard services (remotely-managed security services), saving clients the costs of conventional security guards and even potentially moving data from on-site servers to an offsite location. With a virtual guard system, advanced video and audio analytics are used, allowing even a remote location to remain protected from a developing security event. Learn more.

When discussing electronic security and the cloud the conversation inevitably leads to "the internet of things" (IoT). This relationship is a far reaching topic that will be explored in later blog posts. Watch for the cloud to increase in value and in usage in 2016 as it shows continued benefits.


Growth of IP

Networked devices aren't new to the security industry, but as IP device technology continues to advance more companies demand this technology. This demand comes from both the technological improvements and the cost savings that come along with networked devices.

As networked devices continue to evolve they provide customers with new opportunities for ROI. Thanks to the higher-resolution offered by IP technology, it is estimated that in some instances one camera can replace eight cameras to secure a space. Comparing IP-based camera systems to analog systems, there is an estimated 3.4% saved just for installing this more technologically — advanced system. Additionally, experts estimate the accuracy rate of modern video analytics stands at 95%, enabling companies to cut costs by cutting back on guards and other surveillance-related expenses.3

Opportunities for ROI and increased device efficiency will continue to drive the growth of networked devices in 2016.

As security continues to be a concern across the globe, 2016 is an opportunity for innovation in the security industry. Both improving upon existing security technology and introducing new advanced innovations will be cornerstones of security trends throughout 2016.


1: Security Magazine

2: Federal Aviation Administration

3: Ingram Micro Advisor


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This post was written by Elizabeth Kennedy

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