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Security and IoT: The Road Ahead

  • Sidney Oluoch
  • History
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In the past, security was viewed as a standalone aspect of business, and not considered critical to business functioning. However, with changing environmental factors, paradigm shifts in the nature of businesses, and evolving technology, security now plays a vital role in businesses.

Guard at the Gate: Yesterday

Not long ago, the sole security measure adopted by most business premises entailed a security guard at the front gate. For the major part, threats were minimal and known; entry points were limited and less susceptible. Guards were stationed round-the-clock and any disturbance on the premises warranted them to scan the area physically, leaving their sentinel points unattended.

With changing technology, alarms were deployed at vulnerable spots to assist guards in performing their duty. These include burglar alarms, fire alarms, etc. Alarm devices were a revolution in the security systems industry and continue to feature as an important aspect of security systems till date.

Smart Surveillance: Today

Next came the era of CCTV surveillance. A widely employed security measure, CCTV systems facilitate virtual monitoring, even when no one is around the premises. CCTV systems captured images of intrusion or any other suspicious activity and recorded these for future reference. CCTV systems evolved and soon became part of a bigger picture – smart surveillance, which is growing in use today.

Smart surveillance systems are preemptive security measures that include but are not restricted to video management, access control, parking management, perimeter security, real-time analysis, and so on. With the advent of Internet of Things (IoT), it became possible to integrate systems with existing applications and devices, and access these using a single device remotely, at any time.

Such a proactive security measure mitigates the need for continuous physical monitoring of premises and is especially useful for facilities with vast areas and multiple entry and exit points. Additionally, video management ensures data is recorded and easily retrievable for analysis in future. Smart surveillance systems have wide scope – it ranges from curbing petty pilfering to minimizing property and resource damage due to fire hazards.

Converged Security: Tomorrow

Thus far, physical security, data security and operational security have been viewed separately and assigned separate focus measures in business. In the years ahead, a converged approach that focuses on unified security measures will take the leading edge in security systems.

IoT and evolving technology facilitates integration of systems and eliminates the need for multiple hardware devices and software platforms. It simplifies operational processes while managing operational risks proactively.

By 2025, it is expected that IoT connected devices will be 75.44 billion, worldwide. As the number of interconnected devices increase, along with other factors such as increased sophistication of IoT devices, advanced technology, etc. it is believed that there will be a shift in preemptive security measures adopted by businesses – from real-time monitoring to predictive risk analytics.

In the near future, AI, intelligent data analytics and interconnected systems are expected to serve beyond purely risk mitigation; it is believed that they will drive impactful business decisions in our tomorrow.

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