Business Security of the Future: What the Experts are Saying
The UK terror threat has risen to such heights in recent years that national security has rarely been tighter. We’re taking massive steps to counteract terrorism – and, according to the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Neil Basu, at least 10 attacks have been foiled in the last two years, with 294 convictions for terror-related offences.
These numbers are testament to the security measures created to keep us safe. There is always more work to do, however – prevention requires constant development and the deployment of high-quality intelligence. This goes for any kind of security threat, too.
In the event of an attack, communities and business are put under huge strain. It’s vital that we keep an eye on the future.
The team at Expert Security UK have compiled some pointers as to what the future of UK business security looks like. With our foresight, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that there are increasingly sophisticated solutions to combat threats.
First things first: Cyber security
Cyber technology is being used to secure people, buildings and businesses. Its importance can’t be denied – a leak of confidential data can be catastrophic, on a military level or within the corporate sphere.
We spoke to Ran Berger, CEO of web and software development company Flat Rock Technology, to see just how big a role cyber security plays in our general security efforts.
“Even the most committed luddites can’t deny that the future is digital. We’re rapidly seeing the digitisation of our economy and even our homes. As we become more and more dependent on digital solutions, the role of cyber security is also acquiring more importance.
“Cyber is already playing a central role in security solutions and this will only grow. Finance is a great example. All our money is now accessible via online or mobile portals. This has made tracking and transferring cash miles easier.”
Just make sure it’s secure!
There are some precautions to keep in mind, however…
“Without robust cyber security, [society is] extremely vulnerable. As we move towards becoming a cashless economy, cyber security still has a way to go. Only water-tight cyber strategies will be able to ensure our money is safe when we can no longer keep it under the mattress,” Ran added.
With 71% of UK board directors calling for a tougher stance on companies failing to meet basic cyber standards, even the smallest data leak could be met with substantial punishment.
On a much larger scale, it’s widely suggested that the next big terror attack could be cyber-based. Indeed, a recent survey undertaken by PACE University showed that 69% of Americans believe that a major, technology-based terrorist attack is likely in the next three to five years.
As we become increasingly reliant on technology, the outcome of such an attack could be catastrophic.
The Internet of Things
Perhaps the biggest advancement in cyber security is the Internet of Things (otherwise known as the IoT). Focused on making everything connected – from fridges to various other household items – IoT looks to revolutionise how we live our lives and, as a result, how we protect ourselves.
“IoT will also hold a big role when it comes to security solutions of the future. From Nest devices which can alert you when your home is being burgled, to drone hardwear which can track the person who’s just stolen your car. This kind of tech holds huge potential when it comes to improving security.”
Again, we must remain vigilant of those looking to take advantage of our technology…
“But, like everything, there are dangers. IoT security devices often have weak points, making them vulnerable to hackers and potentially giving them access to a window into your home. And drone technology is already being exploited to get banned goods into prisons.
“We run the risk of seeing tech developments designed to keep us safe being used for the exact opposite. That’s something we must be highly cognisant of, and the industry must work hard to develop robust solutions we can all trust.”
As long as we’re intelligent about how we encourage the use of IoT, it could prove invaluable to our security efforts. Far from being the shiny new toys of the tech world, IoT looks to substantially transform our physical security.
We spoke to Arthur Hicken, Evangelist at software testing company Parasoft, who praised IoT’s capability to boost our physical security methods.
“IoT has the power to bring disparate information together in a single view for a security professional, as well as provide actionable data to automated systems to make proper alerts and responses.
“Combining data from tools such as locks, cameras and thermostats helps to reduce false positives that plague security systems as well as more accurately pinpoint actual breaches.
“Previously low-tech, disconnected devices like card readers and locks become part of a single, integrated and intelligent system which is more powerful – like the IVIS system used by the US military.
“Military efficiency has improved greatly by having more data for decision makers delivered in a timely fashion. We can expect the same kinds of improvements in physical security as we couple the systems together and get them talking.”
Our usual tried-and-tested methods of security have been transformed by this new technology, and we’re now seeing greater synergy between new methods and traditional tools. If they prove to be compatible, our future looks to be a lot more secure.
Arthur Hicken finished with the following comment.
“Once people get used to connectivity, they demand it – it’s hard to live without. One simple example is cameras. In the past we’d never have thought that GPS was a required feature in a camera, nor was Wi-Fi.
“Now it’s moved from ‘interesting toy’ to ‘common availability’ to ‘required capability’. As we become accustomed to ubiquitous smart security we’ll become annoyed by ‘stupid’ technology”.
The future looks bright, as technology merges with existing methods of prevention. One thing that we’re lacking, however, is a consistent focus on premises security…
Don’t forget about physical security!
The digital space creates so much opportunity for data theft that businesses have begun bolting down their data storage methods, introducing complex solutions to protect customer data.
This, however necessary, has led to some neglect in terms of physical security. We’re letting the latter slide as we prioritise digital safeguarding.
We spoke with Gary Crewe, Commercial Projects Operation Manager at home improvement company Evander, who has noticed how the security of property has fallen by the wayside.
“Many businesses are so concerned with digital security that they drop the ball when it comes to physical damage and theft. Both digital and premises security should have equal attention,” he remarked.
Commenting on alternative security measures is James Pothecary, the Middle East and North Africa Political Risk Analyst at security management providers Allan & Associates.
The future of physical security must include an element of air defence, to mitigate the risk posed by drone technology. The recent events at HMP Pentonville demonstrate the role drones can play in breaching otherwise comprehensive defences.
“Alternatively, the use of motion sensors could detect drone penetration of security cordons, and subsequently allow security personnel to contact relevant authorities and attempt to neutralise the threat, for example, by the deployment of anti-drone security systems such as net guns.”
Commenting on future security methods is Danny Scholfield, Sales and Marketing Director at security solutions providers Expert Security UK.
“As we go forward, it’s imperative that we’re using every possible method to our advantage. This means being open to new solutions (provided that they’re fully tested and operative, of course).
“National security will benefit from a sophisticated approach, no doubt. For businesses, there are plenty of new solutions that are being designed to prevent security breaches – from road blockers to telescopic bollards and electric bollards. It’s important that businesses stay one step ahead.”