The impact of emerging technologies on the private security industry

Calie Pistorius/DeltaHedron/November 2018 – The dynamics of technological change present new opportunities to the innovators but at the same time also risks and threats for slower or non-adopters. New developments and applications are produced at a rapid pace, which in turns lead to new business models and modes of customer engagement. Disruptive technological innovations not only spawn new companies and industries, but also render laggard companies and entire industries obsolete.
The private industry offers a range of services to its customers, which include the securing and protection of physical and infrastructural assets, people and events, assets in transit as well as response to threats. A number of companies are also offering cyber security solutions as well as services to detect and combat fraud and counterfeiting.
A spectrum of emerging technologies which are fuelling the Fourth Industrial Revolution in general, continue to have a strategic business impact on the private security industry. A number of IT-related technologies, particularly next generation mobile (such as 5G) and cloud-based solutions will impact on many sectors, including the private security industry.
3D printing is evolving rapidly and offers new solutions with new applications. Printing with metal and alloys are now commonplace, as is the ability to print with multi-materials and bespoke wearables. The recognition that 3D printers seem to have their own ‘fingerprints’ is interesting, as it will enable the ability to trace a specific 3D printed object (including firearms) to its source.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) offers enhanced training capabilities, in which real-time scenarios can be realistically modelled. This includes the modelling of specific physical environments as well as providing additional real-time information pertaining to sites with which they not be familiar to a reaction force through AR. Artificial intelligence applications, analytics and big data, combined with next generation biometrics (including facial and voice recognition) and geospatial technologies, offer enhanced capabilities to identify and trach individuals and assets. These technologies are also offering enhanced capabilities to combat poaching of animals.
Cyber security is a very dynamic area, with both threats and counter measures evolving rapidly. The use of blockchain applications is becoming increasingly prevalent, and is underpinning smart contracts and the authentication of data, in addition to its well-known applications in cryptocurrencies. Significant advances are also being made with regard to digital identities.
Drones are increasingly being used in a wide range of applications, including transport, delivery as well as surveillance. From a disruption perspective, drones will have a major impact on the security industry, particularly when used in “swarms” rather than individually.
A number of emerging technologies, such as the internet of things and associated sensor technologies as well as robotics are finding new applications in the security of residential, commercial and industrial facilities.

DeltaHedron’s recent report (No 14/18, November 2018) refers to a number of trends and development of emerging technologies and their impact on and application in the private security industry, as reported circa September/early November 2018.

Download the full report here

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