Convergence, Automation, Holistic Health among Top Trends in Security for 2020

Many news outlets take time as one year becomes the next to look forward in specific industries and try to divine what will be the most important trends in the 12 months that follow. Since ISC News serves a wide variety of constituents in the security industry, we tapped a variety of experts to give us their views on what we can expect to happen in 2020. Surveillance camera manufacturers, drone makers, integrators, and consultants in cybersecurity convergence consultants and pentesters represent different constituencies in the security industry, and each have a different perspective.

So have a happy New Year and benefit from the prescience of your fellow security industry stakeholders:

Pierre Bourgeix, CTO & Founder, ESI Convergent

The security industry has seen dramatic changes in 2019 surrounding advancements in IoT, AI (Deep Learning), facial recognition biometrics, and cloud technology.  In 2020 we will see growth in the use of neural networks, Big Data, Meta Data, Blockchain technology, containerization, and hyperconverged storage solutions.

The continued convergence of IT, OT, and PS will lead to the confluence of technology and the use of them by the entire business infrastructure.  The drive towards multi-purpose technology from cameras, access control, sensors, PLC, SCADA controls, and building control systems is pushing companies to tie all technology to business processes.  This drive for converged systems helps push us into an interconnected world where smart buildings and smart cities are the norm.  In 2020 we will also see the birth of new platforms of secured communication and secured identity. Inevitably the result will lead to identity driven communication which will rely on authenticated permissions to control, enter, and communicate across networks.  This will finally lead to infrastructure segmentation and purposefully secured networks for the use critical infrastructure and business operations. The greatest challenge in 2020 will be privacy and securing Big Data as well as the greater threats from Nation State syndicates.

Scott Dunn, Senior Director, Business Development Solutions & Services, Axis Communications, Inc.

As we look to 2020 there are a few trends that we are expecting to see in the security industry. First, deep learning and accelerated hardware will offer promise for creating better situational awareness. Cybersecurity will continue to remain top-of-mind and the industry will look for a more holistic and integrated approach to physical and logical security as enterprises move closer to convergence. Lastly, we’ll see an uptick in smart technologies within cities, which will drive the need for integration. As a result of this, we’ll see large global IT companies that we’ve never seen before, enter the security industry.”

Michael Glasser, President, Glasser Security

The security industry is trending towards improving the health, hygiene, and security of solutions being deployed.  For years, those with a hacker mentality (a good thing to have in this space, in my opinion) have attacked commercially available products looking for vulnerabilities. For the most part, however, the physical and electronic security industry has ignored them. Over the last several years the industry has started to focus a bit on the cybersecurity of physical security products but has barely started to embrace the overall hygiene of the solutions being offered. As the ability to share information has become near instant via the internet, issues with these solutions are exposed rapidly and widely enough for the industry to be impacted. Now, those within the industry are using the same mentality to look inward and challenge the industry to improve. 

My prediction is that this will grow exponentially to include holistic improvements focused around product security, secure product development as part of the product development lifecycle, bug-bounty programs, penetration testing of the overall solutions (not the individual components), and less acceptance of the formerly accepted idea that a security system is simply an appliance that is inherently secure.   Instead, as data analysis & visualization become easier, issues that were previously hidden within the mounds of data will demonstrate themselves and customers will demand resolution.

Terry Gold, Research Principal, D6 Research

We are entering the biggest shift the industry has ever experienced. D6 is looking 5-10 years out, and we’re finding that what can be envisioned to occur in 2020 may or may not be a true indicator of the full picture when we look back in, say, five years. Specifically for 2020, I’ll take a non-standard approach to call out the less obvious items:

  • Mobile offerings that only provide door access will commoditize while others that focus on broad solution features will maintain pricing value.
  • More focus around contextual workspaces, enablement, and risk, verses managing rigid access point entitlements.
  • AI will go mainstream within the surveillance market. One of every four new platform choices in the Enterprise will be with an AI platform. We’ll see AI pick up in access control to meet demands of workspace risk and entitlement management.
  • Biometrics, particularly facial, will encounter grater resistance (mainly from legal as they sort through how they can have global conformance).
  • The two previous points will highlight the need for privacy program focus in physical security.
  • Cyber will go from acceptance to program building.

Two outcomes of the previous will lead to the start of biggest trends of years to come:

  1. Increased involvement and oversight by IT Operations, InfoSec, and auditors. This will push for increased transparency, adoption of different practices, pressure either direct and dotted-line reporting into IT Ops and InfoSec.
  2. The industry will start to realize that contemporary access control architectures are inadequate to meet the demands of most of the items in this list and begin working on new ones that will take shape over the next 2-3 years. D6 is already seeing evidence of this.

D6’s entire 10 year forecast can be found at

Ric McCullough, President, PSA

We believe that cybersecurity solutions deployment and employment is the ongoing continuing trend for 2020.

For years, we have all heard the horror stories of cyber-attacks, data breaches, ransomware, remediation and so on. We don’t need more stories and tales of woe.  It’s not cyber awareness that is the continuing trend. Rather, it’s deploying real cyber solutions especially in the SMB marketplace where every company cannot employ their own cybersecurity SME. And, on that topic, it’s supporting educational programs and curriculum growth within the security market to train, educate and then employ more cyber security professionals.

Jack Wu, CEO, Nightingale Security

Automation is a megatrend. It’s not a trend that’s unique to physical security, but physical security will be part of it. Automation has obvious benefits. Users are looking for ROI or operational efficiency by reducing the need for human capital or providing accurate data so the right decision can be made at the right time. But there are less obvious advantages of automation that create value. Yes, automation will provide obvious cost savings in specific cases, but robots and drones can be used in creative ways to improve overall operations, provide new capabilities, ensure the safety of employees and enable growth in tight labor markets. 2020 will be the year security leaders make the creative leap and reimagine how automation can be applied to produce these results.

Another trend I see asserting itself in the coming year is the widespread adoption in the unmanned space of the service model. Software as a Service (SaaS) has been a popular model for years. Robot as a Service will begin to emerge this year. The recurring revenue aspect of this business model will be offered by more and more manufacturers and service providers. And consumers will continue to embrace it, as well. As the rate of technology availability and adoption accelerates, consumers are accumulating a huge variety of products and devices. They don’t want to replace them again and again. But manufacturers want to sell them new products. It’s a conflict of interest that is being solved by a subscription-based model.

Article Written by DJ Murphy | View all articles by DJ Murphy