Top Physical Security Trends Moving into 2020

Understanding current physical security trends is imperative in any security business. Methods for protecting people, property, computers, money, or any other physical item are improving every day. To ensure that your security business is effective, productive, and up with the times, we created a list of top physical security trends for 2019. These will help keep your people, property, and clients secure in the face of inclement weather, natural disaster, fire, robbery, and more.

#1. Nothing beats the classics.

Yellow security booth on a divided road

While computer security and artificial intelligence may be all the rage, they are only part of a security plan, and they cannot beat good old-fashioned physical barriers. Fences, gates, clear signage, a guard shack, and good lighting are all important aspects of physical security.
Keep the following tips for maintaining a secure perimeter and crime prevention through environmental design in mind:

  • Create a perception that your private property begins by using a hedge, fence, barbed wire, or other barrier.
  • Place signs around the perimeter telling would-be trespassers that you have a security system and cameras.
  • Remember that criminals want to feel in control; make it hard for them to enter your property unseen and they will think twice.

#2. Training is always key.

Computer screen with code on it

Whether it is training security guards on what security means, or how to operate all of the technology housed inside a mobile guard building, ongoing training is invaluable. Good security requires that all employees have a wide knowledge base of all things security. They must understand physical security, technology, and customer service.

Technology changes every day, as do the tools that criminals use. For example, 2019 saw an increase in the use of computer hacking ransom technology. More and more criminals are using technology to hold companies hostage. Security guards should receive basic computer training to understand when a virus is in danger of being launched and what they should do if they suspect something dangerous has come through in a computer file.
In addition, as some states start to institute more gun control laws in the wake of recent mass shootings, the use of 3D printed weapons and accessories is expected to rise. Your guards need to be trained not just to use equipment such as metal detectors or x-ray machines, but to spot criminals engaging in suspect behavior, and ferret out trouble before it happens.

#3. Virtual reality reared its head in 2019, and become more popular in the coming decade

Man in office wearing VR goggles

Virtual reality, or VR, will become an effective tool for both actual monitoring and securing of property, as well as for training. While once seen as the thing of science fiction, VR is now affordable and already used for game play in many households.

Virtual reality is in use by the FBI and many other law enforcement departments to train their employees, but in 2020 there will be even more systems that are affordable for security guard training. These VR systems help guards to “live” through certain scenarios and practice how to act, creating a sort of muscle memory and experiential memory that goes far beyond anything they can get from a book or slide presentation.
With VR, your team can actually see a crime occurring in three dimensions. They can be trained to spot the trouble before it occurs, engage in the specific behaviors that you demonstrate, try those behaviors in action, and observe details to provide to law enforcement agencies later. VR is one of the most important new tools in security for 2020, and decades to come.

#4. Biometrics

Close-up of a blue eyeball

Biometrics is using things specific to a person to gain entry to a building or technology. For example, fingerprint scanners on a cell phone has been a huge trend in 2019 to keep a person’s cell phone safe.
Biometrics are already available on a variety of devices, but as time moves on, they will become more and more commonplace. By using biometrics to allow entrance to buildings and parking lots, activation of equipment, and even loading of protective firearms, security will reach a new peak in safety.

No longer will a criminal be able to pick a lock or steal a key to get into your building. Rather, their fingerprint or eye retina will have to be scanned to allow entry. This is much more secure than a simple key, and will become even more affordable in 2020. Throughout the coming year, biometrics will become more commonplace on computers, door entries, and communication equipment.

#5 Smart phones and other Smart technology.

Smartphones and other similar, wireless technology continues to take over the world. Soon, they will allow security personnel to more easily monitor remote locations, move cameras, activate lighting, get readouts from various sensors, and more. Even now, your guards have the ability to move outside their guard shack to check the grounds, while still staying in contact with all of the equipment housed in the guard building and around the perimeter. In 2020, smartphones will continue to provide guards with mobile communications, but as they become more powerful they can also be used to interface with other smart technologies, such as door locks, perimeter monitoring systems, and video monitors. New folding LCD screens are expected to go mainstream in 2020, allowing for much larger surfaces to clearly see video camera feeds.

A smartphone

Smart technologies will combine various types of prevention into a single interface. For example, a technology designed to tell if an intruder breaks a door down may also be able to detect flooding around the door or the build-up of an ice dam. Smart technology will also merge security with environmental monitoring. For example, a security camera might also have the ability to monitor a gas leak or hazardous spill. And all of these systems will be able to be coordinated from a single tablet or smartphone, accessible to all of your security guards.

#6 Solar power.

As technology becomes more pervasive in our world, more and more attacks focus on that technology. Today, one of the most frightening avenues of attack on the electrical power grid – either to a building, city, or perhaps an entire country. This loss of power can throw all systems into chaos, toppling communications, security video monitors, and creating huge openings for criminals. Thus, having back-up power systems for your technology and buildings is more important than ever before.

As solar batteries improve and people worry more and more about attacks on our electrical systems, solar power backup systems will become more prevalent. They will allow more secure power that is self-contained, off the grid, mobile, and cost effective. Soon you’ll be attaching solar panels to the top of your guard house to run all of your cameras, lighting, and more. With solar technology, the only way that a criminal could cut off your power would be if they were physically on site and cut lines with a wire cutter. And repairing the wires would be quick and easy.

Solar panels with clouds

#7 Automated security systems.

Security systems will become more automated. While this is happening already in 2019, 2020 and beyond will start to see the advent of autonomous robots that can function as simple security guards, patrolling corridors, and parking lots, monitoring sounds, detecting movement, and more. Remember, however, that only the earliest of adopters (those with deep pockets) will have such systems within the next ten to fifteen years. In addition to high costs, such systems will need maintenance, storage space to protect the robots from the elements, and a staff to take care of them.

Solar panel on a Guardian Booth guard booth

#8. Securing the Future

Despite these seven amazing trends, remember that you don’t always need technology to be secure, and that even the most incredible technology will always have some human component. But thinking ahead to how you can outfit your guard shack with technology can ensure that you stay a step ahead of your opponent and keep your own and your client’s property safe.

Remember that while these top physical security trends for 2019 and 2020 will help carry you through the entire decade, security technology is always changing. As we move further into technological advancement we will see changes in artificial intelligence and automated analytics that will be able to analyze video, sound, and heat in new ways to accomplish amazing security feats such as hearing and recognizing gunshots and broken glass, using facial recognition to identify people, recognizing and tracking active shooters, and so much more.

Two security cameras on a gray wall

Eventually, the lines will blur between physical security, technological security, logical security (securing access to computer systems and spaces within a data center), and more, as systems become interconnected. This will enable a single, artificial intelligence unit (AI system) to thwart danger while adjusting AC temperatures and more. The world of security — the entire world, actually — is getting more exciting by the minute.

Keep on doing your research and staying on top of the best ideas and trends to keep your business running safe and smooth!

And gain more tips on effectively running your security business by checking out some of these links:

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