Security predictions: we revisit 2018 trends and predict what’s new for 2022

Back in 2018 we published our top three predictions for the near future of security. Little did we know how much would change in a few years, or that a global pandemic would wreak so much havoc. We’ve reviewed our 2018 security predictions three years on and look forward to what’s new for 2022 and beyond.

1. Access control will really get under your skin

In 2018 access control via human microchipping was a hot topic, It looked set for exploration and piloting. The technology was exciting, futuristic and made for a potentially great user experience, but in a post Cambridge Analytica world there was a lot of data ownership scepticism. So, the microchip implant didn’t take off as it might have. But Covid did, along with the exponential rise in touchless technology (that didn’t require an implant!). The pandemic speeded up the adoption of mobile credentials to authenticate access, a security trend we did predict.

Smartphones were already an integral part of our everyday lives in 2018. By 2021, they could replace the need for access control cards. Mobile credential verification is an extra layer of embedded security. For example, it will transmit credentials using a biometric or pin code to release a door for entry. Your mobile phone is an authorised business resource on hand. You won’t leave it behind even if you’re going to be late for your next appointment! Beyond just opening a door, the mobile app interface of your security system is now only a thumb print or facial recognition away, providing control anytime, anywhere and a secure network connection.

Undoubtedly there’s been an acceleration in the adoption of mobile security, but we found that especially where there are on the ground security and front of house staff, there’s still a desire for employee visual verification. To satisfy this need and reassure employers, manufacturers have introduced the scope for a digital card with photo, name, number etc. all stored in the same app.

We’ve also observed how the pandemic prompted a chip shortage in 2020 and continues to affect the security industry as we roll into 2022. While the shortage has complicated the process of ordering secure badges, it’s presented an opportunity for organisations to say yes to implementing mobile credentials. Looking back to our 2018 predictions, it’s now clear that while chip implants are still possible and could become part of our future there’s the issue of data and personal privacy to resolve before they become widespread. One thing that is certain? The role of mobile in access control is here to stay.

2. Big Brother is watching…and learning

Intelligent tracking, facial recognition and people counting have seen a huge increase in demand, as predicted. As security professionals we’ve seen AI and deep learning grow massively with lots of unique brands on the market providing remarkably interesting security solutions. Yet curiously we haven’t seen a huge uptake in this available technology by clients. The advanced tech is thriving and so we’re keen to explore further the needs of clients. Recently, Welcome Gate were requested to investigate an innovative CCTV solution to do more than capture and record an event. There was a valuable operational need to track and respond when an individual carried a certain object in a specific space.

The location was a large public area, designed primarily for people to gather and use as a thoroughfare to access offices, retail and restaurants. Yet the open space had a smooth concrete surface attracting unwanted skateboarders. Video surveillance was able to track when someone was using or carrying a skateboard in this designated area and through a network of external speakers it activated a pre-recorded message to politely ask them to move on.

This intervention limited the need for security guards to patrol the area. The recent IFSEC Global Video Surveillance Report 2021 predicts that 80% of security professionals believe video surveillance will grow over the next two to three years. Our anecdotal insights resonate with these research findings.

3. IoT security that bends over backwards

We were right that agile working would take off and the role of Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated in Covid times. With the need to work from home and an increase in hybrid working, the  use of the traditional office space has changed rapidly. More so than ever, we maintain our belief that agile working requires agile security. Over the last couple of years, our large, multinational clients have managed 1,000s of permanent staff and contractors working remotely and on site, see our case study for more details. IoT is an ecosystem that can provide protection by managing various devices, controlled connectivity with multiple applications.

In post-pandemic times implementing IoT security can present its challenges. As our clients have started to implement return-to-the-office strategies, IT, facilities and security managers will be concerned about cyber-security and the need to create a safe regulated environment for employees wherever they work.

At Welcome Gate, our cyber essentials accreditation gives our clients the reassurance that we can help protect them by implementing multiple site management security strategies coupled with our physical security expertise.  We believe the integration of spaces will be of high importance and co-working is a great solution for business. But security controls need to be in place to span connectivity at home, in the office and co-working spaces.

What’s new for 2022?

Much transformation has happened since we made our original predictions, some of which no one could have anticipated. What is clear now is that new ways of working, new ways of doing business, and new ways of using workspaces are driving security innovation and fast-tracking specific technologies. Welcome Gate are always inspired by new security capabilities and new integration possibilities.

Stay up to date with our latest security insights – get in touch if you’ve got a challenge or even an idea, we’re keen to talk. Call our team on 020 7620 6288 or email [email protected] for more information.