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Physical Security Trends for 2021

Posted by Brandon Koepnick on Jan 13, 2021

With the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines going out, the light at the end of the tunnel is near. Life without the pandemic, however, remains months away. Despite this, the pandemic will have a permanent impact on how companies conduct business and security.

While a pandemic is a once-in-a-century thing (we hope), its lessons have taught everyone to be prepared. It could happen again in a few years or a few decades. Nonetheless, making changes will benefit everyone in the long run. COVID-19 isn’t the only thing that’s contagious. Thus, the new processes that come out of it will also lower the risk of any kind of contagious illness.

No one will return to the old normal. A new normal is in the works. Right now, most companies rely on temporary fixes. Not all of these fixes will need to remain in place permanently.

For instance, a company may have all of its employees working from home. It may have no plans to continue with remote working once it’s safe to return to the office. It may move into smaller buildings and allow employees to do a hybrid of remote working and coming in the office. A few may decide to make remote working permanent.

Whatever 2021 holds, most will be glad to welcome it while moving on from the roller coaster of 2020. In preparing to ensure 2021 is a far better year, familiarize yourself with these physical security trends for 2021. You’ll notice the pandemic has had a hand in it.

1. Contactless Technology

Touchless technology has been around for years. A lot of it can be found in public bathrooms. The lights stay off until they detect motion and turns them on. They’ll go off again as soon as it doesn’t sense any motion for a set time. Self-flushing toilets monitor for movement from users that indicate they’re finished.

Then users go over to the sink and put their hands in front of the faucet. As soon as it detects motion, water pours out. The soap dispenser sits idly waiting for people to wave their hands underneath. These energy-efficient technologies save on costs. They also minimize the spread of germs.

COVID-19 has spurred more contactless technology innovations. One of them is how you request an elevator. You may wave a foot or a hand in front of the elevator’s motion detector or call it up with your cell phone.

Contactless technology also comes into play in physical security. Many offices have badge swiping capabilities. You simply wave your badge over a monitor and it lets you in. Those still using PIN entry will want to switch to a contactless method of entry using an access control system. That brings up the next trend.

2. Access Control Systems

You can do a lot with access control systems beyond gaining access to a building or parking garage. A big advantage of an access control system is that it’ll get rid of the need for locks that require keys. You won’t have to rekey locks anymore. Instead, you simply tell the system to add and remove access as needed.

Not only that, but access control systems can also manage access on a per location basis. If there’s a data center, you can assign access to only those who can enter. The same goes for onsite gyms and other spaces that may only be open for employees or tenants.

Here are some benefits of an access control system:

  • Stops unauthorized people from entering.
  • Prevents employees from being locked out.
  • Adds control for different parts of the building.
  • Avoids potential employee mistakes.
  • Costs less than onsite security guards.

Businesses have many options in an access control system. Before choosing one, document your requirements for access and security. List who needs access to where and when. This will help you find the right technology for your needs.

3. Remote Video Surveillance

You can get the biggest bang for your security buck with remote video surveillance. It offers contactless security that eliminates the need for security guards and the many risks they bring. To boot, video surveillance can do more for your business besides protecting it.

When you implement video surveillance, a security consultant will install high-definition video security cameras around the property. This includes the parking lot or parking garage. These cameras must be high definition. Anything less will not be able to make out faces, license plates, and other important identifying information.

The site of video cameras creates a layer of security that deters criminals. A way to bolster that is to post “Area under surveillance” signs. Should an intruder ignore the cameras, a trained security monitor will act by issuing a warning over the speaker system. That operator is nowhere near the property. He or she watches the camera from a safe, remote monitoring center.

Any time a situation warrants it, the operator will call law enforcement. Often, the police arrive on the property before the trespasser gets away.

Because the cameras capture everything within their view, analysts can review the camera footage and share it with law enforcement. As mentioned before, the high-quality video cameras will provide the needed information to help identify and arrest the criminals.

These saved recordings give you the evidence you need for solving cases, liability claims, and incidents. Here’s a way video surveillance helps that’s not security related. Someone may claim he or she fell on the company’s property and had to seek medical treatment. Thankfully, there will be camera footage to confirm whether this happened on the property.

It’s not surprising there has been a 20 percent increase in a preference for contactless operations in the U.S. This includes package delivery. Video surveillance makes contactless package delivery possible. With video cameras and access control at the entry, the delivery person can talk to the operator on camera through the two-way speaker. The monitoring operator gives instructions on how to handle the package.

After implementing video monitoring, you can reduce or eliminate security guards. This will save on costs while increasing productivity. Your employees can focus on their main job responsibilities. Another technology combined with video surveillance enhances its efficiency – video analytics.

4. Video Analytics

Humans make mistakes. However, when you blend video surveillance with analytics and trained security operators, you reduce the chances of errors happening. Video analytics relies on artificial intelligence.

The security team programs AI to watch for many possible scenarios. As soon as AI identifies any scenario, it alerts the on-site monitor. The person investigates it and acts based on the situation. The monitoring operator may issue an audio warning, contact the point person for the business, or call for an emergency response.

What makes video analytics more powerful than other security solutions is that it’s a proactive and a preventative one. It can and does help to deter crime and avert damage. To take advantage of this technology requires finding a security company with sophisticated video analytics.

Video cameras alone are merely eyes. When you factor in video analytics you have now enhanced their capabilities. You can take it a step further by integrating it with an access control system. The result is a powerful integrated security system
that delivers a speedy return on investment. Each of these technologies is contactless.

How to Find the Right Security Technology

It defeats the purpose if no one uses the security system or they open the door for strangers to enter. The key is to keep it simple. People won’t use anything that’s complicated or tedious. All it takes is one mistake on an employee’s part and it’ll hurt your security.

Physical security has always played an integral role in protection. Now its role has grown to include safety from a health standpoint. Every business must ensure the new normal is a safe and secure one.

Putting AI and human eyes across your entire perimeter will ease your mind as well as employees’. Moreover, the video cameras will record everything, and the access control system will provide the timestamps. All these technologies are contactless.

Researching and implementing these four trends in 2021 will optimize everyone’s safety while protecting the property and the company’s assets. The right security company can create an integrated security system that achieves your security and safety goals while meeting your budget requirements. You should not be stuck with more than you need.

What’s the right security and safety solution for your business? The requirements vary by industry and even within a single industry. You might want to start by looking at the free security resource page to find the one that closely matches your industry.

Stealth Monitoring can help you with all of these. Our security pros can customize a security and safety system to help solve your biggest security and safety challenges while meeting your budget requirements. To learn about access control systems, video surveillance, and security solutions that meet your needs, please contact us.