What Is a Security Systems Integrator and Why Does Your Business Need One?

What Is a Security Systems Integrator and Why Does Your Business Need One?

Sometimes there’s confusion around what today’s security systems integrator looks like. So, let’s clear it up. A security integrator essentially links various subsystems to provide security throughout your organization. These include physical as well as cyber protections, including access control like doors, locks, gates and others; video surveillance systems; lighting; emergency notification systems; and network security. Most integrators can install hardware, software, networks and hybrid IT solutions, as well as specialized security equipment.

Why Do You Need a Systems Integrator?

Unfortunately, cyber crime is on the rise. Physical violence at the workplace is also a real threat, especially for certain industries. As the cyber and physical continue to converge through the Internet of Things (IoT), the risks grow graver. Power plants and other utilities can be made vulnerable by unsafe software, hospitals’ sensitive patient information can be hacked and used for criminal activities, ransomware is rampant. No one is safe if they’re connected. If you use email, keep any type of digital records, or rely on your network for business, you should be thinking about security.

Fortunately, security systems integrators can help.

What Does a Security Systems Integrator Do?

Security systems integrators secure people, data and property, but their level of service can vary widely. Some deliver “off-the-shelf” solutions and install them for you. Others go beyond this to manage the entire process, starting with a recommended security plan, moving through installation and implementation, testing and finally management and maintenance. This is known as the full lifecycle. These higher qualified providers can custom-build a security plan for you, and will generally follow these steps:

  1. Provide an initial assessment of your security needs
  2. Design a holistic security system to address these needs
  3. Install the software, hardware, networks or other required equipment
  4. Custom create other systems when needed
  5. Provide training to those managing the system on your end
  6. Offer ongoing maintenance, assessments, upgrades and service

Whenever possible, it’s smart to partner with a full-service systems integrator. Since they’re responsible for ongoing maintenance and service, they take ownership of the entire system and have a vested interest in providing excellent services. With one team managing the entire lifecycle of your systems, you’ll also avoid the finger pointing and miscommunication that can plague a team of multiple vendors. Also, a partnership provides valuable continuity throughout the project, so you’ll ensure that your integrator is very familiar with your company’s ongoing needs.

What to Look for In a Systems Integrator

Ask yourself these important questions as you conduct your search:

  • Are they a good cultural fit? Do your priorities align? Are you comfortable with them?
  • How about their services? They may match your objectives now, but what about in the future?
  • Are they in the know? Since threats are proliferating faster than ever, the means to counter them are as well. Find a systems integrator up on the latest systems and ensure they’re vendor agnostic, so they can provide smart and reliable recommendations.
  • Are they experts at efficiency? Bringing multiple systems together means there are opportunities to create higher efficiencies. A security systems integrator can link the lighting with access control, so that when fewer access cards are swiped in one area of a building, the lights can be adjusted accordingly, saving energy and money.
  • Are they IT smart? As the physical world collides with the IT world, it’s critical to have a deep understanding of coding, programming, troubleshooting and ongoing maintenance. The Internet of Things means that everything is now connected so everything is now vulnerable. Are they prepared?
  • Are they third-party verified? Do they have the important certifications? SSAE16 and ISO-certified data centers help you achieve compliance for HIPAA, SOX, and PCI DSS.
  • Do their employees have certifications? Certifications show dedication to excellence.
  • How trustworthy are their employees? What types of screening do they do?
  • What are their manufacturer relationships? Providers with strong partnerships can resolve issues faster. Check their partner status, certifications and direct access to manufacturers’ L3 engineers.
  • How secure is their datacenter? Do they have biometric authentication, 24/7 in-person and video monitoring, and user records? How about full redundancy and disaster recovery systems?
  • How do they manage their daily relationships? Do they have a portal for daily security updates, service level reports, and troubleshooting requests, as well as communication hubs for feedback and best practices?

There are many security systems integrators out there. Take your time finding the one that works best for you. Ponemon Institute tells us that in 2017 an average data breach cost $3.5 million, and there’s a 27% chance a U.S. company will experience a breach in the next 24 months. The cost will be between $1.1M and $3.8M per incident.

Your security is worth it. We’d be happy to talk with you when you’re ready. We’re the largest independent security integrator in the DC region, with a rapidly expanding presence in the mid-Atlantic area. For over 20 years, we’ve combined IT and physical security to keep your people, property, and data safe. See how we can help you secure your enterprise.


IST’s “Security of Security” Event

Integrated Security Technologies’ Spring 2018 Education Series Presents our “Security of Security” Event

May 1 (Richmond, VA) and May 3 (Herndon, VA)

Security has been greatly influenced by the changes in our daily technology capabilities. In many ways, our interconnected world benefits the security industry—making our security systems smarter, more powerful, more cost-effective and easier to manage.


In other ways, our industry is becoming more vulnerable. We are faced with unprecedented threats to people, property and data.


As the security sector undergoes enormous evolutions, both innovations and exploitations will proliferate. Without the proper protection of critical assets, the size, scope and severity of security threats and attacks will likely increase over time.


Please join us for our Spring 2018 Education Series event this May with a focus on “Security of Security.” This event will show how to decrease system vulnerability and increase asset protection through technology advancements. You will hear presentations from Genetec and Bosch and have access to one-on-one discussions with industry leaders.



May 1, 2018 – Richmond, VA, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Lunch will be provided)

May 3, 2018 – Herndon, VA, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Lunch will be provided)



Clients, customers and end-users who are:

  • Interested in next-generation security requirements and controls
  • Embarking on an upgrade or implementation of a security platform
  • Seeking solutions to support immediate requirements and evolve in the future


There is limited space available for this complimentary event, so reserve your spot today.

Review Your School Security System

Now’s the Time to Review Your School Security System

We’ve reached a grisly tipping point in the fight against school shootings in this country. February’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL unleashed a national outcry. Led by the very students that survived this too-often seen tragedy, awakened activists throughout the U.S. are loudly petitioning, lobbying and marching for more gun control and safer schools. Change is in the air.


Leaving the gun debate aside for a moment, one of the best ways to protect our students is through smart and effective school security systems. In recent years, there’s been a huge uptick in installations, as schools move to secure themselves with cameras, perimeter security hardware and mechanical and electronic locks for the classrooms. They’re implementing what’s known as “airportization,” as they seal up possible breach points and provide gatekeepers with the technology and authority to keep would-be attackers out. Most schools now vet visitors with a camera and then buzz them in with an intercom.


By prioritizing security, schools are able to marshal the budgets needed to implement school security systems through several government programs. Michael Ruddo, Vice President of Business Development at Integrated Security Technologies, Inc., who was quoted in SDM Magazine in the article “What It Takes to be Successful in the K-12 Security Market,” explained, “there is more state and federal funding available for them through grant programs.”


Specifically, the U.S. Department of Treasury recently instituted the E-Rate program to provide discounts and incentives to help schools upgrade their networking infrastructure to counteract cyber threats that can also trip up their physical security.


School Security Systems are Easier to Get

Is your system up to snuff? Now’s the time to review your school security system because many schools are seeing real savings from theirs. As schools receive more grant money for security solutions, the technology is concurrently decreasing in cost. The end result is that schools may be able to afford more hardware and a greater number of services.


Additionally, security integrators can also provide more help than in the past.


“Fortunately security technologies have migrated to the IP/IT infrastructure,” said Ruddo. “Since this has already been built for collaborative and educational reasons, it is getting to the point where everything is IP-based, from the computers to the AV systems with smart boards.”


It’s easier than ever for security integrators to help schools achieve their security objectives.


Integrators like IST have become true partners to educational institutions ranging from K-12 to higher education, overseeing comprehensive school security systems that are seamlessly integrated and can be managed remotely or on-site from one spot.


“We take a very holistic approach,” Ruddo said. “We want to understand, ‘What are your risks? What are your problems? How do you operate on a day-to-day basis?’ Maybe locking that door will have a huge impact.”


With this approach, IST can provide exactly what your school needs—no more and no less.


If you’re looking to add or upgrade your school security system, we can help. We offer complete solutions ranging from video surveillance systems, to door entry systems, to barriers, to cybersecurity measures and more. In most cases, we can even integrate the latest technology with your existing systems. We closely monitor security trends in schools and elsewhere, and internally test the latest security driven products to make sure they’re effective every time.


We’ll help you design a security system that helps you—and your students and faculty—feel safe. Look here for a list of the best ways to secure your school.

Cybersecurity Risk Management Meets Physical Security

Cybersecurity Risk Management Meets Physical Security

A Closer Look at 2018 Trends: Who’s Responsible When Cybersecurity Risk Management Meets Physical Security?

Cyber threats reached an all-time high in 2017 according to Trend Micro’sTM 2017 Security Roundup. In this brave new world, cybersecurity and physical security are becoming synonymous.


Increasingly, industries ranging from nuclear power plants to self-driving cars are at the mercy of cyber attackers. Even our bodies are at risk since implanted medical devices like pacemakers, insulin pumps and brain implants are exposed to cyber attacks. The possibilities are frightening.


With this expanded threat comes bigger responsibilities across enterprises. Gone are the days when a silo like the IT department handled security for the entire firm. In fact, personnel from HR, to IT, to Procurement must be aware of the risks inherent in securing their physical and cyber-spaces – and be prepared to overcome them.


Our last post explored the changing role of security providers. Now we’ll delve into how physical security is changing to be increasingly cyber controlled – and how businesses are taking note.


Trend 9:  Cyber Security Risk Management is Essential for Physical Security


The word “ransomware” can strike fear into the most prepared businesses. Recently, Washington D.C.’s police department fended off a potentially devastating ransomware attack. Just prior to the Presidential Inauguration in January 2017, hackers hijacked 70 percent of the D.C. police’s department’s networked video recorders and stopped them from recording. Engineers were able to fix each video recorder on site without having to pay the ransom, but the results could have been debilitating.


Cyber risk abounds. In October 2017, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) warned users to update their devices because the agency had uncovered vulnerability in any updated, protected Wi-Fi network that could potentially harm every connected device by releasing emails, chat histories and even credit card numbers. Code-named KRACK (Key Reinstallation AttaCK), this malware had the potential to destroy any connected business’ data.


Cyber Security Risk Management Best Practices:  How Can Security Providers Help?

How do we possibly prepare for doomsday scenarios like these? There are several important steps security providers can take. Most importantly, security providers must address network security by eliminating harmful traffic like denial of service attacks. They need to create systems that analyze possible deficiencies, seek out malware, assess security controls, design newer improved cyber safeguards, update protections and ensure that security stays top of mind for all stakeholders.


IST offers cyber security as a service to meet businesses’ growing need for cyber protection. We understand how one small breach can spell millions in lost revenue or even denigrate company’s name. We proactively work to eliminate these risks. You can trust IST to handle any of the new and still undiscovered cyber threats, as we work tirelessly to stay on top of them.


Trend 10:  Everyone’s Responsible for Risk Management


Every business and every person is at risk. With so many avenues for cyber destruction, attackers can wreak havoc via credit card theft, embezzlement, workplace violence, worker’s compensation fraud, compliance control and information or data loss.


To counteract these risks, companies need a comprehensive approach to risk management and planning. This means that the traditional Chief Security Officer and Chief Information Officer will be involved, but it also means that IT, HR and other employees (plus vendors and service providers) need to weigh in as well. The companies that can best blend cyber and physical security will provide the tightest security, and that requires pulling from many different departments.


Risk Management Best Practices:  How Can Security Providers Help?


With silos of security experts, it’s easy to see how critical security threats can fall through the cracks. With a coordinated effort like a dashboard, all security stakeholders can see and respond to potential issues in real time. Tools like social media, “dark web” criminal activity monitoring, arrest reports, court findings, as well as traditional sources of information need to be harnessed to build a full picture of the security landscape for a given company, both internally and externally.


Security providers are a member of this important team. It’s imperative to employ the most sophisticated security measures to counteract cyber threats, including ransomware and a potentially large cyber-attack. IST has helped numerous customers secure their networks to prevent these malicious attacks. We’re prepared to fight and eradicate any threat.


This post concludes our series about the top ten security trends to look for in 2018. There is unlimited potential in the coming months with the IoT’s connectivity and convenience. There is also an unlimited opportunity for security breaches. We continue to monitor these as well as any emerging trends that affect your business’ security. As a premier protector of people, property and data, IST is dedicated to your security. Contact us now to see how we can get you completely secure.


Security Providers’ Changing Role


Security Providers’ Changing Role

A Closer Look at 2018 Security Trends:  How are the Roles of Security Providers Changing?

One of the biggest trends in 2018 security is change. Nowhere is this more evident than in the market itself, where companies ranging from industries that wouldn’t ordinarily handle security, like Comcast and Amazon, to start-ups eager to cash in on a hot market, increasingly enter the residential security scene. They are shaking up the landscape and changing the services being offered as well as the revenue models that drive them.


We reviewed how mobile device security and the use of the cloud are both augmenting overall security in our last post. As we move forward into 2018, the changing role of security providers is a trend that will also strengthen the residential security industry.


Trend 7:  Security Providers Are Changing

There’s no typical security provider these days. Both IT-focused companies like Best Buy and start-ups like August Home (recently acquired by ASSA ABLOY) are jumping into the traditional residential security monitoring services business. Harnessing the cloud and the IoT, many of these companies are offering everything-as-a-service with convenient tie-ins to smart devices.


Traditional security providers have picked up the trend as well, changing the subscription model to a month-to-month payment plan. With this freedom comes the death of the typical security services contract.


Security Industry Best Practices:  How Can Providers Adapt to the Players?

Providers must stay on their toes to move with this market. With so many new and powerful players in the game, security providers need to add value wherever possible to enhance the consumer experience while providing the convenience and smart features they’ve come to expect. Differentiation is everything. If a security provider can offer superior services, they will stay ahead. Service is prized over price; consumers will not be as price sensitive moving forward for this reason.


Within the services themselves, we’re moving from a heavy emphasis on product sales to cloud-based services. Therefore, the shift is towards security services, not installation of monitoring or deterrent devices. Flexible providers that harness these trends will move ahead.


In fact, IST is right on top of this trend. In addition to our 20+ years of security expertise protecting people, property and data in the enterprise market, we’ve embraced the move towards cloud-based services and are up-to-the-minute on leveraging the cloud for your utmost security using your existing systems or deploying new solutions. We also stay competitive by offering affordable month-to-month subscription style plans for our customers’ convenience.


Trend 8:  Entrepreneurs Enter the Security Scene

Entrepreneurs want a piece of the security action too.


Their relentless focus on data analytics, convergence and IoT are pushing the residential security industry forward faster. It’s a win-win for both providers and consumers, although the market is tightening with these new entrants. Multi-system operators (MSOs) like AT&T, Comcast and Cox Communications upended the U.S. intrusion market from 2013 – 2015. Likewise, start-ups made their mark. In fact, IHS Markit noted that companies that were two years old or younger claimed over nine percent of global consumer video-camera market revenues in 2016, up from just six percent one year before.


Security Industry Best Practices:  How Can Providers Adapt to the Game?

The players have changed and so has the game. In addition to dealing with the challenges of shifting from hardware and project focused work to a service, maintenance and remote monitoring model, subscriber acquisition costs (SAC) are up and recurring monthly revenue (RMR) margins are down. Technology obsolescence has increased, so manufacturer and service providers are also grappling with shorter product development cycles. Companies that can keep up with these changes will come out on top in the residential security market.


Additionally, consumers are demanding interoperability among their devices and services for streamlined experiences. Companies need to work together to create interoperable standards so consumers can integrate their current security devices.


Again, IST is following this trend closely on the enterprise side. We monitor all new security products and remain manufacturer agnostic so that you get the solution that works best for your needs. We also help you integrate these updated security solutions to keep them interoperable with yours.


Our last entry in this series will explore how cyber-breaches are becoming more common for physical security, and we’ll look at how everyone in an organization needs to play an important role in mitigating these risks. IST has solutions for these and your other most pressing security concerns. To learn more, contact us here.



Mobile Device Security and Cloud Security

Mobile Device Security and Cloud Security

A Closer Look at 2018 Security Trends: How Can the Use of Mobile Devices and the Cloud Increase Our Security?

As consumers and businesses embrace the cloud and its promise of even greater mobility, the future seems bright.


The cloud has been integrated with physical security, enabling more efficiencies and greater peace of mind at less cost. Consumers conducting their lives through their mobile devices are happy to feed this trend by purchasing security services online and are using their phones as credentials.


Our last post covered leveraging smart data and social media to increase security capabilities. Mobile device security and the cloud are also reshaping the security industry in positive ways.


Trend 5:  Mobilization

We love our mobile devices. Globally, we reached a record high of 17.5 billion connected devices in 2017. By 2023, that number is expected to increase to 31.6 billion (Source:  Ericsson Mobility Report, November 2017). Their convenience and connectivity makes them an indispensable part of our days. Consumers use mobile devices to access work documents, as well as check in on home monitoring devices like cameras and thermostats. Most trust them to send payments or serve as credentials.

The Gartner “Predicts 2017” report forecasts that 20% of organizations will drop traditional ID cards in favor of using mobile credentials by 2020. This growing trust aligns with the proliferation of cloud-based physical access control systems (PACs) that allow entry. We’ll move away from proprietary access control to cheaper, more efficient open systems in the cloud.


Mobile Device Security Best Practices:  How Can Providers Help?

To keep these devices secure, manufacturers increasingly incorporate more sophisticated security features. Apple’s iPhone X uses the biometric “Face ID” to unlock the phone and can also complete financial transactions.


Securityinformed.com reported that higher education and healthcare end-users are starting to use Bluetooth readers in their access control systems. Biometric apps also help visitors gain entry by ensuring the right person is using the credentials on the phone.


It’s a win-win for consumer and security company alike. With mobile credentials, the user benefits from the convenience of integrated systems—and security providers can offer new services and thus open up new sources of revenue.


Trend 6:  The Cloud Continues to Grow

By 2020, Gartner predicts 90 percent of organizations will use a hybrid infrastructure (including cloud services) to house their data. There are several important reasons why consumers and businesses are adopting the cloud so readily. Its value propositions are hard to ignore:

  • Easy connectivity
  • Convergence and integration with IoT
  • Mobile technology
  • Increasing number of applications and services


Additionally, cloud security has strengthened in recent years. Companies such as Airbnb and Uber operate solely from the cloud, eschewing traditional brick and mortar facilities and placing their trust in this new business model.


Cloud Security Best Practices:  How Can Providers Help?

Security providers must leverage the cloud to oversee physical security through software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud computing and managed services. This is done to capitalize on its safety, scalability, efficiency and accessibility while reaping the benefits of recurring monthly revenue (RMR). They can also provide remote testing and maintenance, system resetting, scheduling and credential administration, essentially offering total solutions that cover all system installations.


The cloud is attractive to integrators for other reasons as well. Its built-in security with two-factor authentication, encryption and SSL certifications is certainly important, but the safety features don’t end there. The automatic backups, disaster recovery systems and continual updates also make it an ideal repository for securing information.


Since the cloud is also hardware agnostic, most devices can easily gain access. This eliminates the need to update costly equipment as frequently and also makes it easy to add devices. It’s no wonder that providers applaud the cloud’s growth.


For our next entry in this series, we’ll discuss the changing landscape of security providers and the entrepreneurial invasion into this sphere. As the world of security changes, IST continues to be a driving force for innovation. For more information on how IST can help you capitalize on these trends in security, contact us here.


Leveraging Smart Data for Security

Leveraging Smart Data for Security

A Closer Look at 2018 Security Trends: How do we leverage smart data for our security?

In the last 60 seconds, our worldwide community sent 156 million emails, ran 3.8 million Google searches and uploaded 400 hours of video onto YouTube. This glut of data hijacks serious storage space and poses some pretty serious security concerns.


The good news? It’s getting easier to make sense of it all, with technology that interprets and even acts on the information. Add in the ever-expanding web of social media, and we’ve closed the loop with real-time alerts and security measures.


Our last post covered securing the IoT and our connected world. Now that we’re well connected with a continuous feedback loop from the IoT, how do we use this information to keep us secure? We’ll delve into the next two trends here.


Trend 3:  We’re Making Swifter Sense of Smart Data

The data we generate is astounding. By the year 2020, each person will create 1.7 megabytes of new information every second, but that’s only the data that we initiate. Sensors, medical records, corporate databases and other sources contribute to this data overload.


Currently, less than 0.5% of the data is being analyzed and used to help manage important tasks like creating better traffic flow, eradicating medical epidemics or even trading stocks. By adding AI to the equation, we can process the unfathomable volume and turn it into usable, actionable information. What’s more, this information translates into higher sales. According to Forbes, an average Fortune 1000 company that harnesses just ten percent more of their data will reap $65 million more in net income.


Smart Data Security Best Practices:  How Can Providers Help?

Security professionals must create plans for how they’ll use smart data and big data to keep us safer, and how they’ll secure it in the process. To accomplish this, they must direct sensor-driven data towards proactive protective actions and ensure that cyber controls are in place. The data needs to ferret out weaknesses in the premises and employ predictive analysis algorithms in real-time. Since time is of the essence, technology like video analytics, AI and AR (Augmented Reality) will be useful tools.


Trend 4:  Social Media Aids Security

By virtue of its instantaneous, wide-reaching powers, social media is highly effective in alerting large members of the population to an immediate threat. When community service members or citizens need to let other citizens know about an active shooter, a natural disaster, criminal activity or any other community threat, both can broadcast these issues in real time. Universities nationwide have used their Twitter pages as one of their crisis management vehicles. In fact, Virginia Tech used Twitter and Facebook during the 2011 shooting to warn people to take cover. The news broke on social media before the media outlets even picked it up.


In response to an event like this, Facebook instituted a Safety Check tool so its two billion users can let their friends and family know that they’re okay in the event of an emergency. Called a crisis hub, this resource consolidates information about an unfolding disaster, so people can see what’s happening (even via live video) and coordinate help quickly.


Social Media Security Best Practices:  How Can Providers Help?

In the near future, we’ll see stronger social media-security collaborations for more granular targeting. The IoT will play a critical role here. For instance, a video management system (VMS) detecting a car driving the wrong way can automatically alert area residents via the social media hubs. Providers can harness this exponential power to help save lives.


For our next two trends, we’ll discuss the reality of going mobile and the cloud’s continual growth. As security continues to evolve, IST continues to lead the charge. For more information on how IST can help you explore the next big things in security, contact us here.


The 10 Security Trends to Watch in 2018

Security trends to look out for in the new year

“We are living in the most exciting times in the history of modern technology,” notes Steven Van Till, President and CEO of Brivo and Chairman of the Security Industry Association (SIA) Standards. “Technological currents have converged and amplified and remixed with each other to accelerate the pace of innovation. Now, physical security is no longer just physical—modern security systems are cyber-physical systems, inheriting both the power and pitfalls of the digital world.”

As the security sector undergoes enormous evolutions, both innovations and exploitations will proliferate.

At the end of 2017, the SIA’s annual Securing New Ground (SNGTM) Conference collected 2018 security trend predictions from the experts. From the minds of top security executives, new entrants to the marketplace, investors and SIA’s contributing specialists came the second ever “Security Megatrends ReportTM.”


The report notes that while the industry has seen a marked growth in physical security, information technology, logical security and cyber sectors, security has been greatly influenced by sea changes in our daily technology capabilities. The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the landscape. Physical security enterprises now incorporate Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and mobile devices increasingly monitor and manage our security.


We’ve recapped these megatrends here:


  1. The IoT is Taking Over: This makes life easier (and more vulnerable) for all of us. In 2017, consumers and enterprises spent almost $2 trillion on the 8.4 billion connected devices and their corresponding services. That number is expected to balloon to 50 billion devices by 2020, and security breaches will grow commensurately.
  2. Everything Will Be Connected: Tomorrow’s smart homes will monitor and report real-time analytics on how every system is faring. As consumers continue to embrace this connectivity and the cloud, security providers will be able to help with more systems, including lighting and energy management.
  3. We’re Making Swifter Sense of Smart and Big Data: By 2020, each person will generate 1.7 megabytes of new information per second. Add the data generated by sensors, medical records and corporate databases, and only AI and Augmented Reality (AR) can reasonably organize and analyze this incomprehensible volume. Security companies must find ways to protect this data with ever-evolving smart cyber controls.
  4. Social Media Aids Security: As a wide-reaching communications tool, social media will assist with more real-time emergency communications, relying on an increasing ability to geographically pinpoint specific individuals who may be affected by disasters relayed to them through video surveillance.
  5. Mobilization: Smartphones are already indispensable. With biometric recognition and credentials capabilities, they’ll become our mobile physical access passes. Security companies are also deploying cloud-based PACS.
  6. The Cloud Continues to Grow: Increasing connectivity plus convergence and integration with IoT, mobile devices and other solutions means that more businesses and consumers are embracing the cloud. Security providers will be offering more cloud hosting services, which have the added benefit of ingrained cybersecurity features.
  7. Security Providers Are Changing: The role of security provider is constantly evolving, especially in offering everything-as-a-service. Newer companies without IT backgrounds will continue to move into the market with interactive products, DIY management and self-installation. Month-to-month contracts will replace longer commitments.
  8. Entrepreneurs Enter the Security Scene: Outside companies, startups and IT-focused companies are realizing the security marketplace’s value and augmenting the segment with data analytics, convergence and IoT; models are moving away from security monitoring-based revenue to providing greater product innovation.
  9. Physical Security is Increasingly at Cyber-risk: The number of cyber threats broke a record in 2016, and ransomware’s use as an insidious extortion tool has grown. Security companies are looking to strengthen physical systems and add cyber safeguards. As a result, cybersecurity as a service will grow.
  10. Everyone’s Responsible for Risk Management: Business security risks abound, crossing corporate silos from HR to IT, to relationships with suppliers. All departments must work together with security providers to predict and identify physical and cyber-risks and then create comprehensive plans to mitigate and eliminate them.


2018 promises more and bigger changes in the security realm. IST welcomes these innovations, as a security provider that has always been on the cutting edge of technology. From offering cloud hosting services to integrating our VMS technology with AI, to providing mobile device operated security systems, we’re always seeking out the best ways to keep your physical and cyber-world secured.


We’ll explore each of these trends in greater depth in our upcoming posts. For more information on how IST can help you leverage what’s to come, contact us here.

How Did Security Move Forward in 2017?

And How Can You Take Advantage of These Trends?

While 2017 wasn’t a watershed in the world of access control, intrusion detection and video surveillance, there were several noteworthy trends that drove the industry forward. The experts at Security Sales & Integration recently identified five:


  1. Artificial Intelligence Continued to Grow

As both AI quality and capacity increased in 2017, manufacturers relied on AI to control workflow for Big Data, a segment where human capabilities have reached their limit. AI’s ability to process information from various sources at exceedingly fast speeds makes it an essential security tool. FST Biometrics America Inc. of New York City innovated in this arena; the company equips turnstiles with high-resolution cameras that use facial biometrics to first recognize a person and then create a red or green spot on his or her face. Green spots are allowed entry, whereas red are not.


Takeaway:  Look for AI enabled security products in everything from video surveillance to access control for smarter streamlined management of various security silos.


  1. Platform Unification Increased Efficiencies

As security systems integrators looked to consolidate video surveillance, intrusion detection, access control, visitor management and bi-directional intercoms through one electronic system via the Cloud, this equated to fewer computers, software and service agreements as well as decreased IT costs.


By combining security alarms and intrusion detection devices under a VMS platform, only one set-up is required, and a video feed can now check and balance any alerts to confirm that they’re not false alarms.
Takeaway:  The future of security lies in unification; whenever possible, seek our synchronicities for your solution.


  1. Video Surveillance Became More Powerful

Unfortunately, many experts believe that the price reductions in IP-based cameras correlated directly to a quality reduction. Some companies, like Sony, dropped camera production to focus on AI-powered VMS’s that integrate with other security products.

On the plus side, video images are more compact than ever. ProActive CCTV from Farmington, NY compressed 32 channels into 8TB of data storage space, or three years of compressed data. This is a new milestone.

Takeaway:  Look for a VMS featuring high compression levels for greater storage at lower costs.

  1. Intrusion Alarms Got Integrated and Updated

Newer companies entered this sphere since older companies weren’t keeping pace with technology or client needs. The winners are access control manufacturers who added intrusion detection devices that report to their operating systems.


Intrusion alarms are becoming more and more compatible with the Internet of Things (IoT) and include cybersecure protections to deter would-be hackers.


Takeaway:  Companies integrating intrusion alarms with their other products offer a total solution that’s also more accessible through common mobile devices.


  1. Access Control Received a Value Added Upgrades

As access control products became more of a commodity through standardization and Cloud driven software, companies embracing value-added elements surged ahead. Many offer bi-direction communication standard, with a central access control system to update fobs, cards or other credentials that can be modified while in use.


Companies also favor the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) option, and users can even select which device to use. Mobile keys are also a small but expanding solution.


Takeaway:  As the focus shifts to BYOD and identity management, access control will become a user driven platform.


IST can help you take advantage of all of these developments. We offer many AI-enabled products to make your security even smarter. We’ll help you consolidate different types of security services with VMS platforms. In fact, IST leads the way in implementing the latest developments in VMS technology in coordination with our clients and industry partners. Look through what IST can provide in VMS. Additionally, our intrusion alarms and access control systems easily integrate with your mobile devices for a streamlined security system that’s simpler than ever to control.


The drumbeat of increased integration, consolidation and a move towards mobile devices continues to improve security systems and make them more cost-effective and easier to manage. As we move into 2018, we look forward to these trends continuing.


Top Five Blog Posts of 2017

Click through our most popular posts from the year!

  1. Eliminate the Knowledge Gap http://istonline.wpengine.com/2017/09/eliminate-the-knowledge-gap/


  1. Do Certifications Make a Difference? http://istonline.wpengine.com/2017/10/do-certifications-make-a-difference/


  1. The 411 on Hosted and Managed http://istonline.wpengine.com/2017/06/cloud-security-solutions-the-411-on-hosted-vs-managed/


  1. Find the Right Security for your Business http://istonline.wpengine.com/2017/07/choosing-right-security-option-business/


  1. Meet SHIELD http://istonline.wpengine.com/2017/06/meet-s-h-i-e-l-d-safeguarding-cloud-security/