Top 10 Security Industry Megatrends for 2022

Some trends endure. Some don’t. The nice thing about the annual Security Industry Association (SIA) Security Megatrends™ report is that SIA really does its homework to identify what’s really hot in the security industry. Now in its sixth year, the report has seen trends come and go. But for the most part, SIA identifies long-term trends that are shaping the future of the security industry.

Input for the report comes from the association’s annual member survey, with additional input from industry executives and the association’s Securing New Ground event speakers and attendees.

While AI and cyber security remain in their #1 and #2 spots, respectively, for 2022, the report identifies three new trends that indicate a shift in the industry mindset: Interoperability, data privacy, and health and sustainability. These trends show that the industry is becoming more cognizant of how its activities affect the world around them.

The full list of 2022 trends are:

  1. Artificial intelligence
  2. Cyber security
  3. Supply chain assurance
  4. Service models and the cloud
  5. Workforce development
  6. Increased interoperability
  7. Data privacy
  8. Security as proptech
  9. Expanded intelligence monitoring
  10. Health and sustainability

AI Tops the List
Sitting at the top of the list for the second year in a row is AI, a broadly defined class of technology that suffers from marketing hype and immaturity. Which is, of course, where all new, cutting edge technologies start.

While simple algorithms that recognize license plates and masks are considered AI by some vendors, AI with actual intelligence is beginning to mature in the marketplace. Up and coming AI systems are correlating data that hasn’t been correlated in the past, and surfacing insights that can improve security and save time by automating common repetitive tasks and processes that are otherwise a time drain for busy security professionals.

According to the report, AI as a Megatrend promises to influence every sector of security and current development of AI-specific chips is propelling new advancements.

Cyber Security Is Becoming Top of Mind
While AI is the shiny new object, cyber security is the houseguest who won’t go away, despite your best efforts. Ranked #2 last year and this year, cyber security was once listed as “cyber security of physical security.” This has evolved to include cyber security in general. That’s because an attack can be launched through places other than an access control server or camera. Company servers and network infrastructure are also at risk. For more background, IST’s Chief Strategy Officer, Michael Ruddo, gives his expert input on cyber security in this SDM magazine article.

It’s not surprising that cyber security is still at the top of the list. Particularly since the global pandemic, ransomware attacks have soared, hitting every sector of society, with a particular emphasis on healthcare organizations, municipalities and the operational technology that underpins critical infrastructure such as water works, energy pipelines and energy generation.

The good news is that cyber security awareness has never been higher, and customers are now asking better, tougher questions on how to best validate or update their cyber security approach, and are more willing to invest extra money for extra protection. The key, of course, is spending the money on the right solutions to get the results you really need.

Interoperability Is Gaining Traction
SIA’s megatrend report says that unless you’re in a big corporation or a government agency, current integration between technologies like video and access control or intrusion systems is “surprisingly low.” However, this is changing as more systems are becoming based on open architectures and as customers are coming to expect the ability to correlate data sourced across systems.

The report identifies interoperability as a tremendous opportunity to connect disparate security systems using common protocols to enable communication between systems and can connect security systems with other business systems. To work, the industry will need to adopt more standards so that connecting systems doesn’t require custom programming and engineering.

Data Privacy Is a Big Concern
The public is now more aware that their data is being collected and stored and have concerns about how that data is used. Since the security industry is in the business of collecting and storing personal data, including identities and locations gleaned from access control and video surveillance, data privacy has become a hot topic that IST has been aware of for some time.

Privacy is particularly important when data captures people in environments where they have a right to expect privacy. So, you can’t collect this data without processes and policies in place to ensure privacy and an audit trail to prove it.

Currently, every state has laws regulating how organizations need to respond to a data breach. But only California, Virginia and Colorado have comprehensive data privacy laws similar to the GDPR in Europe. This megatrend is being closely monitored by legislators and regulators, so you can expect more government regulation moving forward.

Health and Sustainability Is Driving Industry Change
The global pandemic has added new responsibilities for security teams to use security technology to protect the health of employees and visitors. The conversation about how security teams will actually do this has been in flux, having moved on from temperature screening and touchless functionality towards more generalized health and comfort topics. For example, security teams may become more responsible for detecting toxic chemicals and monitoring indoor air quality.

On the sustainability side, manufacturers are beginning to build energy efficiency into their products and taking steps to ensure products use less materials and more efficient packaging.

According to the report, improvements in health and sustainability, especially for building environments, will require better interoperability between security and building systems.

If any of these megatrends are of particular interest to you, download the full report, which is full of detail, statistics and interesting insight from industry leaders.