As the world continues to reckon with the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, security experts continue to assess where the industry stands with these ever-shifting demands. Physical and cyber security continue to merge — with cloud-connected devices a hallmark of effective security protocols.
Recently, SecurityInformed.com spoke with a panel of leading industry experts about where we are today in physical security.
They pose the question — Is post-pandemic security more effective than pre-pandemic security?
The website spoke with John Davies, Managing Director at TDSi, Mark Feider, National Director for the Enterprise sector at Genetec, and Ted Wilkinson, Director of Channel Partners and End Customers for the Americas at Axis Communications.
They each share varying perspectives.
More effective implementation of physical security
Davies said that during the pandemic the “focus of systems design and implementation has changed to deliver more ‘touchless’ access control.”
In one example, he cited improved data on building occupancy that has created more sustainable approaches to managing physical business spaces.
“It’s not that there have been any huge technological innovations that have been driven by the pandemic, but more that already existing functionalities have been employed to better manage the fallout from it,” he added. “The pandemic has however changed and is changing the workplace and our interactions with the built environment.”
He concluded that it’s all about how security managers deploy already existing security technology appropriately.
For his part, Feider said that our perceptions of physical security greatly changed since the pandemic. It transformed from a “tool for mitigating risk” to one that plays a role in organizations’ push to the increasingly more digital future. He pointed to a Genetec survey that showed 69 percent of respondents describing physical security — and its related data — as “mission-critical.”
“The shift to a remote workforce has also caused us to think beyond protecting the traditional perimeter. As a result, we’re seeing a focus on making identity the new perimeter, and an increase in zero-trust networking implementations,” he said. “It is becoming clear that physical security technology is becoming a strategic asset that enables organizations to transform and improve their business processes to achieve operational resilience through integrated risk management.”
Adjusting to new demands
Wilkinson pointed to the fact that early in the pandemic security was re-centered specifically to the demands of the health crisis itself.
While we are in a better place with COVID-19 outbreaks, their impacts on security persist.
“We find ourselves in need of more comprehensive security and safety plans than pre-pandemic. Decision-makers today must ask themselves if their security plan/solution takes a holistic approach to integrate different technologies to build a more comprehensive system,” he added.
“How can surveillance, access control, audio, analytics, and other solutions work together to optimize safety, when safety also includes preventing the spread of viruses and other health-related risks? Security solutions have certainly been evolving, but so has our approach to security and safety,” Wilkinson said.