Forecasting 2020: Insights From Inspired Technology and Communications
Executives from the Massachusetts-based integration firm share their projections for trends and challenges in the year ahead.
Here comes 2020, ready or not. Businesses across the security industry will have lots on their collective plate contending with copious market disruption. SSI checked in with leadership at Massachusetts-based integrator Inspired Technology and Communications to get their take on the year ahead.
Read on as Carrie J. DePeter, vice president of business development, and Harry Richman, vice president of security solutions, teamed up to provide the following responses on what they expect to be the biggest changes, challenges and opportunities relating to both residential and commercial electronic/physical security.
Technology is continuously advancing and evolving. The key challenge is identifying the advancements we see, so we can educate and train our staff on how to implement. Being able to identify new technologies early is what allows us to constantly evolve as a company, for our clients.
Regarding video, 25 years ago video was recorded on VHS tape and now all video is digitally recorded and easily accessible from a variety of devices, not just a VCR player. When access control was first implemented, key cards were used and now with the latest biometrics, patrons can enter a building or gain access to a specific room with their thumbprint or a retina scan.
The biggest challenge for small to medium, privately owned security companies, like Inspired Technology and Communications, is that our residential market is becoming overly competitive. With big name corporations such as Verizon and Xfinity, bundling security into their cable packages, customers utilize them instead. But unlike ITC, those companies are not required to have the licenses & background checks small to medium businesses do; therefore, they are not technically experts in the security field.
In the last five years, Cloud technology has matured and with that maturation came newfound threats, such as application hacking, email phishing and viruses all pushing for more Cloud-based security solutions. At ITC we have continued to educate our customers on two tier authentication and the use of Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) gateways to act as extra layers of security.
These solutions authenticate a user and protect a company’s internal information while an end user accesses a Cloud hosted application. For our data sensitive clients, we go a step further and recommend those clients use a hacking emulator like Safebreach. Safebreach is a software that sits outside a client’s firewall and utilizes multiple algorithms to identify the type of information a hacker is trying to access.
In regard to the commercial market, one of the biggest changes is the scope of work that electronic security has acquired. Much more work is required because of all the new “issues” or “problems” in today’s day in age. In simple terms, the scope of work is much more involved than it used to be. Issues that were not once a concern, now are. Therefore, gunshot detection, vape detection and environmental quality are among some of the major security concerns.
Clients care more about safety and protection than they used to especially in schools, government buildings, hospitals and more. One challenge is making sure our company keep ups with the latest solutions to meet the requirements, needs and concerns of our clients. ITC has continued to expand our internal team and provide proper employee training to ensure we are a one-source company that potential clients can seek out for all security needs.
BUSINESS & OPERATIONS
In the state of Massachusetts, we’re required to hold two licenses when it comes to providing security services. One is the Electric Low Voltage System Contractor License and the other is the S License from the Department of Public Safety, which requires all employees to be Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) checked. Like we mentioned before, not all corporations have to abide by these rules, meaning Comcast and large corporations that are not Massachusetts specific, do not fall under that jurisdiction.
On another note, the rise of the cannabis industry, especially in the state of Massachusetts, has really sparked change in the electronic security industry. With its legalization, a vertical market was created. It was an entirely new market for security installation companies. In order to keep up with the rules and regulations dictated by the state, cannabis focused businesses had to invest in security systems.
Why is the security industry better off today than a year or two ago? Conversely, how is the industry worse off than it was a year or two ago?
The security industry is better off today because experts in the industry focus on identifying what the hacker is looking for. Then in turn, software was created and implemented in order to block a hacker from accessing the information. The security industry constantly works to find out what hackers are looking for, and now that they have, they can further protect.
Another reason the security industry is better off today is because of access control. We have more technology now that it’s a higher priority, it’s a large market and all facilities have security. Which also requires more regulations for employees to abide by.
One reason the industry could be worse off is the changing of technology used to happen every 10 years, now it’s much more frequent — every six months to a year! The challenge is keeping up with the rapid, moving parts.
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