Sunday, January 21, 2018

Security Opportunities within the Booming IoT Market

The Future is Bright for Non-electronics, Too

The term Internet of Things was coined back in the late 90’s.  The somewhat official definition is “A network of dedicated physical objects that contain embedded technology to interact internally or externally”.  I think we can all agree that is a very broad brush definition.  I would rephrase it to be, basically “an ecosystem that includes electronic things, and the communications and data analysis between them”.

With that in mind, let’s look at where we are today and where we’re going.

Today there are an estimated 7billion devices connected via the internet and applications that use the internet.  That’s a device for every human on the planet.  In just five years that number will increase to over 50billion.  The use of The Cloud is fueling this increase.

What does this mean for the security profession?  Simply put lots of openings and an unlimited number of chances.  In other words, if you can think it, you can make it happen. 

This increase in the realm of possibilities will affect every aspect of our daily lives.  So whether you’re involved in the residential, small business or corporate security market, you can make it.

I usually think of security solutions as following into one of two spheres – electronic or non-electronic.


Electronic technologies are just that – technologies that are electronic.  Kind of a no brainer, don’t you think?  These technologies run the gamut from intrusion detection systems to access control to surveillance and beyond.  They’re becoming ever more sophisticated and complex.

Unfortunately, as technology evolves it will probably become more invasive.  It will collect more and more data about you. 

These invasive technologies already assault our daily lives.  Just imagine how that will change in the future.  While there is tremendous resentment about governments collecting data on individuals.  Companies, such as, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and other major retailers are doing it and no one really seems to care.

The use of cellphones will become almost an extension of ourselves.  We will be able to do everything from or with our phone.  I suspect someone is going to develop a security app that will read your blood pressure or your heart rhythm to authenticate that you are the correct user, instead of the fingerprint reader or PIN code of today.  Your phone will become your “Mini-me”.  It will know your behavior patterns well enough to “help” you make choices.

If you’re a dealer, distributor, integrator, system installer or work in a parallel vertical the opportunities abound, as you provide solutions for your customers.  It really won’t matter which product or service you provide, as there is a place and need for all of it, and combining technologies will provide even more opportunities.

The development of “predictive analytics” based on data collection will allow companies to forecast their customers buying habits better.  My personal opinion is that “predictive analyst” will become a job title and many security companies will hire them to determine future sales projections and to forecast their future markets.  With that in mind, there is already some technology out there that can analyze behavioral patterns.  Does this mean that access control will be determined by a biometric sensor and as a back-up analysis app that says, this is you because you always show up for work at this time or an even more sophisticated analysis by the pressure you apply to the pin-pad as you type in your PIN code?


Non-electronic technologies on the other hand don’t use electricity to function. They can range from windows and doors to landscaping or even the way a particular building or inhabited area is designed. 

Fortunately, to counter the invasiveness of the electronic age, non-technologic innovation will become less invasive as we develop better materials and strategies as we design inhabited space. 

I believe we can “socially engineer” inhabited space.  We can incorporate specific urban design strategies that cause positive behaviors so that there is less reliance on the invasive use of electronic means to keep us safe.  Ultimately citizens don’t want cameras that watch their every move; instead they want space that is functional and free of crime and unwanted behaviors.  By increasing the effectiveness in controlling the social behaviors of the people using or transiting the space, the environments will become safer and need fewer electronic gadgets.

We are at the cusp of an explosion in technologies, both electronic and otherwise.  Whether you are in the business of providing solutions directly in the form of a product or service or in the business of providing solutions indirectly, i.e., architect, engineer, security consultant or government official strap yourself in and hold on to your hat because it’ going to be a great ride with lots of opportunities for all to excel.

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