The January edition of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION includes our annual industry forecast as a cornerstone of our special 2014 Industry Forecast Issue. For the piece, I interviewed 25 of the industry’s most knowledgeable market analysts, business experts, security dealers, systems integrators, supplier representatives and trade association directors. Some of their perspectives can be found in the magazine article, with the balance of their assessments appearing in separate Under Surveillance blog posts.
Featured in this installment: Ajay Jain, President and CEO, Quantum Secure
What security technology changes do you expect to see for 2014?
Ajay Jain: As Physical Identity and Access Management [PIAM] and Physical Security Information Management [PSIM] technologies offer more ways to accrue data and increase interactions for security’s “customers” – the management team, employees, contractors and visitors – mobile devices and apps are facilitating the revolution, changing the way CSOs and other security professionals manage and provide security to organizations. Already a fixture in the lives of people around the globe, mobile devices and apps are now helping to amass data, track systems and automate formerly complex and cumbersome procedures with self-service for end users, audit certification by access area owners, management dashboards and improved situational awareness. This new, more customer-centric security has simplified and improved overall risk mitigation while also expanding ROI benefits into compliance, customer service, automation efficiency and cost awareness.
As we continue to accumulate data and track more and more systems, this high-level security intelligence is changing the way organizations operate. Physical security is now able to provide intelligence and analytics that allow the organization to make decisions that affect the bottom line. For example, analytics can help determine how employees and commuters are utilizing office space when it comes time to expand or reconfigure. Customer-centric security is going to be an ongoing theme as easy-to-use mobile applications offer fast, automated means to facilitate procedures.
How will security technology address political, legislative and standards issues and needs in 2014?
Jain: PIAM is a valuable solution for assuring compliance with the many laws and standards relating to comprehensive monitoring and management of employee and visitor identities, along with control of access to critical areas. For example, PIAM enables compliancewith the three enforceable NERC-CIP cyber-security standards to help organizations perform a wide range of required activities related to identity and access management – and avoid significant fines. For HIPAA, PIAM helps to protect health-care data to maintain the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information, permitting each individual identity access only to what is dictated by defined policy. If a role or policy changes, that alteration triggers an automatic, complementary revision in other sets. Once policies and workflows have been created, PIAM software’s integrated monitoring and reporting features provide auto-remediation of compliance anomalies and reporting to enforce and maintain compliance. Complex tasks like this are essential elements of a PIAM system.
What are some pressing security industry issues you expect to remain unresolved? Any ideas how to address or improve these situations?
Jain: The biggest issue is still that physical security is viewed as a cost center rather than as providing value or improving the organization’s bottom line. A unified solution such as PIAM addresses this by increasing efficiencies, automating manual processes and allowing the physical security team to reduce operating costs. Further, organizations can realize significant savings via PIAM solutions – for example by automating compliance attestation, consolidating multiple applications into a single self-service tool, reducing manual updates/email via automated policy based notifications, and enabling personnel updates such as photo uploads.
A unified PIAM solution also presents security intelligence as a new opportunity for trend and data analysis in order to make better decisions for the organization. Beyond this, by centralizing security functions and analytics, business units can more easily expand to new markets as they will be able to update or deliver tools without the necessity for custom modifications for each location. This will help to guarantee business continuity and protect global assets, reducing overall physical and cyber security risks without compromising regulatory compliance requirement specific to each country.
What is something that might surprise people in 2014?
Jain: The best way to stay prepared for all the changes that the rapidly evolving global market will bring is by providing tools targeted to global locations and the multilingual workforce. That includes security portals that can be extended to support multiple-languages, along with localized services and mobile applications. All of these things will help employees and partners create and expand newer markets.