2018 – the breakthrough year for IoT and cyber security

Lennart Alexandrie, publisher, AR Media International.

2018 is soon to reach its conclusion – a year in which, more than anything else demonstrates that the suppliers of physical security technology systems have realised their important role in the overall growing IT and IoT industry. The paradigm shift from analogue technology into the digital era has carried the security industry into a new world of opportunities but also risks.

During 2018 an increasing number of developers of security technology solutions have launched innovations that clearly contribute to further enrich the IoT-market with opportunities, but also aim to reduce the risks that come with being network connected. Several examples of that were to be found among the 12 products that gained recognition through the recent presentation of the prestigious Detektor International Awards 2018 that took place in Copenhagen in November. Never before have so many IoT-ready solutions been awarded by a publication representing the physical security industry. It surely confirms that the time has come for open platforms and cloud-based solutions.

Moreover, the physical security industry has not just entered the booming IoT era with its technology based service solutions, but has also recognised the importance of including cyber security in its concepts. In the main, it is the video surveillance sector that has brought up cyber security as an important aspect of its products. This can be explained by some very serious network-attacks – like the large and widely known Dyn attack in 2016 – which was partly caused by hijacked malware infected IP surveillance cameras.

Now, IP camera manufacturers have chosen to not just work hard on cyber security issues but also to communicate their progress in order to convince the market of their readiness for a world with very real cyber threats. A shining example of this is the concept “Security within security”, launched by the Taiwanese manufacturer Vivotek. It is based on cyber security enhanced cameras with Trend Micro’s anti-intrusion software, and featuring automatic detection, prevention of credential attacks, and the ability to block suspicious events. e concept received an Innovative Achievement Award in the IoT Security category of this year ́s Detektor International Award prize ceremony.

In the access control segment, the awareness of cyber security is also on the rise. The focus is of course on securing the ID of a person or a thing and making it harder to hijack an identity.

With this in mind one could say that 2018 has been the year when the physical security industry embraced the opportunities and challenges of digitalisation. It is good, because there is no way back. Digitalisation is here, it will stay and it will change the security market more than anything else.

So what then are the advantages of digitalisation? For customers in the security technology market, digitalisation will have a great impact. Network-based security systems offer scalability that enables a completely different level of customisation to individual needs than ever before. Today’s cloud solutions also achieve simplicity in the management of security sys- tems and signi cantly improve cost-effectiveness when sharing resources. Customers no longer need to invest in expensive technical equipment as before. Ownership of the equipment has no value for most security buyers.

For suppliers, digitalisation means that more and more security companies are seeing the potential for leaving the traditional business model, based on sales of technology and service hours, instead of applying a service-oriented business model where the customer pays for the features they choose to use.

Digitalisation also means challenges for the security industry, such as cyber security. However, cyber security is something that the entire security industry needs to take more seriously, from manufacturers and distributors to system integrators and installers, and not least end customers. Otherwise, the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of network-based security systems can turn into a very costly experience.

Lennart Alexandrie,publisher, AR Media International.


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