In recent years, rapid developments in technology and the shifting landscape of workplaces as a whole have caused the security industry to change significantly. No one can say for sure what the state of play will be in a few years but, by examining current climbing trends and exciting new software developments, Welcome Gate is exploring what the potential future of security may look like in 2021.
1. Access control will really get under your skin
We’re already using smartphones to unlock doors instead of traditional key cards. However, in a post-Cambridge Analytica world of sensible data skepticism, some employees have protested against installing the necessary apps on their personal phones to unlock the doors. In response, Welcome Gate can put stickers on the back of phones that still grant access but can be easily removed and have no way of scraping personal data from the user.
In a few years, we’ll see an even more advanced and secure form of access control: human microchipping. These microchips implanted into the flesh of the hand between the thumb and forefinger are already commercially available on the market, and can be used to perform simple tasks using a single access code, but in a few years they’ll be able to store a whole lot more data. This means it’s very likely employers will begin to use microchips as access control, granting you the ability to open doors with just a wave of your hand. They also may want to use them for cashless vending transactions in the office, such as authorising printing. But with some people already up in arms over an app on a phone, can you imagine the reaction to employers asking you to let their business get under your skin… literally? Some will find the tech incredible – James Bond-esque – and others will be horrified. So here’s the question when it comes to microchipping for the office: would you say yes?
2. Big Brother is watching… and learning
CCTV is getting seriously interesting, with intelligent tracking, facial recognition and people counting all increasing in popularity and application. But in the years ahead, we expect this technology to take on a life of its own. Using artificial intelligence to learn from situations where suspicious activity has been manually identified, video monitoring systems will be able to make decisions regarding suspicious activity and take action – notifying security teams, sounding alarms and locking people in or out.
These systems could use facial recognition to identify individuals who have previously been established as suspicious, and connect with access control to prevent them from entering the building. This same connectivity could have many applications: if someone has had their identity card stolen, and this card is then used on a door, the system could use facial recognition to determine if the person is the actual card holder. If not, it could deny them access. It might detect a disgruntled ex-employee, who has just been fired but hasn’t yet had their keycard deactivated, and prevent them from entering rooms that hold valuable assets or data. Whatever it’s used for, one thing is certain: machines will soon be making complex security judgement calls on our behalf.
3. IoT security that bends over backwards
As workers continue to rate agile working as one of their most wanted perks, research suggests demand for flexible ‘co-working’ office spaces could potentially grow by up to 30% annually for the next 5 years. And agile working requires agile security. No one will necessarily sit in the same place twice; there may not be a dedicated receptionist who knows the names and faces of staff so understands who should and shouldn’t be let in; and there needs to be a consistent understanding of space utilisation.
In the next few years, as agile working continues to develop, we may find that the connectivity some of us have in our homes, powered by Alexa or others of ‘her’ kind, will stray into the workplace. These virtual assistants might act as both receptionists and security teams, using the Internet of Things to connect door locks, access control, CCTV cameras, smartphones, lights, air conditioning units, switchboards and more. They might take calls for you, use access control and facial recognition to find where you are, and then put the call through to your smartphone. The possibilities are endless.
Whatever your opinion on what the future landscape of security looks like, it’s undeniably tech-driven, forward-facing… and incredibly exciting. We can’t wait.
At Welcome Gate, we pride ourselves on staying at the cutting-edge of security solutions, providing the most up-to-date answers to the challenges our clients face. If you’d like to chat about how we might be able to support you with innovative security systems, call our team on 020 7620 6288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.