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Top 7 Physical Security Trends for 2023

Top 7 Physical Security Trends for 2023

Posted by Graeme Woods

Graeme Woods

Global Business Analyst

As technology continues to advance at an unprecedented pace, the landscape of physical security is rapidly evolving to meet the challenges and opportunities of the modern world. From the integration of artificial intelligence to the growth of smart cities, in this article, we will explore the top seven physical security trends that are shaping the industry in 2023.


The most significant trends in physical security in 2023 are driven by these economic, social and technological changes:

Economic pressures on security firms because of the difficulty in passing on cost increases.

Difficulty in hiring and retaining security operators.

Social unrest, resulting in a record number of mass shooting incidents and retail crime (including organized retail crime).

Blurring of boundaries between security and other business functions for use of video surveillance data as business becomes aware of the value of data traditionally siloed in the security department.

Generative AI, which heralds another revolution in AI by allowing AI to write text or produce images based on a prompt.

Continued growth in alternative deployment approaches such as cloud and hybrid cloud as an alternative to on-premises hosting.

1. Generative AI

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a game-changer in the field of physical security. It comprises Large Language Models (LLM) and image generation systems that can generate text or images based on prompts. Generative AI is an important innovation in AI and builds on earlier deep learning neural network technology.

In the realm of security, generative AI can be used to predict potential threats, simulate breach scenarios, and optimize response strategies. The ability to anticipate threats and test defense mechanisms in a controlled virtual environment is proving invaluable for organizations seeking to fortify their security infrastructure.

LLMs can be used to automate security reporting, preparing a synopsis of events and recommendations on actions to improve physical security. Image generation solutions can be used to provide summaries of a video (even in one frame) as well as training data to improve the accuracy of AI video analytics.

There is already widespread commercial interest in Generative AI, and the security industry will soon benefit from new products that include this technology.

2. Cloud and hybrid cloud computing

Cloud and hybrid cloud deployment models are not new and are now more and more embraced by the security industry due to increased understanding of their benefits. Cloud and hybrid cloud deployments provide opportunities for simpler and more flexible infrastructure provisioning and management and the conversion of fixed capital costs to variable operational costs.

New edge technologies, such as Nvidia Jetson-based devices, feature low power consumption, robust construction, and simple, low-touch management.

This hardware enables edge processing of detections, with the cloud providing federation, advanced analytics and centralized reporting.

3. Video analytics market consolidation

The video analytics sector grew rapidly because of advances in deep learning combined with the willingness of venture capitalists to fund startups in computer vision.

Many entrants have not innovated and have not achieved enough accuracy for the security industry to consider their product further, and have not achieved product and market fit.

As venture capital funding dries up, the industry is consolidating with some companies pivoting to another area, some being acquired, and some closing their doors. Innovators with a suite of solutions are better positioned than "one-trick pony" companies that have a narrow focus and can soon be out of business.

4. Drive to lower costs and increase productivity

Security companies exist in a competitive market, and there is a trend to look for ways of increasing profitability by lowering costs or increasing productivity per employee.

This can be difficult. Security businesses generally have few options to increase profitability apart from increasing scale by acquiring other companies or by using automation. At the same time, it can be difficult to attract and retain quality employees.

Implementation of automation with AI video analytics software is a well-proven way of reducing labor costs (by reducing the large number of false positives from motion-activated cameras). This also provides a pathway for operators to take more responsibility and exercise judgment while reducing the mundane and repetitive aspects of security work.

5. Cross-over between security and operations functions

In 2023, the demarcation between security and operations functions is becoming increasingly blurred. Security systems are now being integrated with operational technologies, such as building management and facility automation systems. This convergence optimizes resource allocation, enhances emergency response coordination, and offers a holistic view of an organization's safety and efficiency.

Traditionally, security data, such as video footage, has been solely used by the security department, not being available for use by other business areas.

There’s now a trend where non-security business functions are realizing the potential value of this data for marketing and customer service and can use traffic flow analysis to help unlock the value in this data. For example, footage from store cameras can also help identify congestion points, measure queuing times, and help with store layout.

6. Focus on retail security

The retail sector is experiencing a transformation in its approach to security. With increased incidences of shoplifting, aggression towards staff and organized retail crime, retailers are moving to protect their customers, staff and property. Mall operators are also protecting their brand value and reputation by increasing physical security.

Video analytics can give retailers and mall operators an edge over criminals by providing immediate awareness of criminal activity in the store or car lot. Retail analytics leverages existing security camera infrastructure with a combination of theft and weapon detection.

7. Smart cities

Smart cities are urban areas that use automation (including video analytics and artificial intelligence) to improve the quality of life of residents. They add automation to public safety, traffic management, the management of public spaces, and the delivery of optimized public services. They may monitor public spaces for crimes or citizens in distress, manage parks and gardens, coordinate parking services, and even help optimize solar energy distribution or water usage.

Until recently, smart cities have been a concept, but the integration of video analytics, drones, and other sensors with hybrid and cloud computing is now making smart cities a reality. Residents are set to enjoy a more secure and efficient lifestyle as a result of the implementation of the first smart cities.

Final Takeaway

The year 2023 is witnessing a dynamic shift in the physical security landscape. From the integration of AI and cloud computing to the convergence of security and operational functions, these trends are reshaping how organizations approach their security strategies. The physical security industry is set to undergo significant changes in the coming years, with new trends emerging that will shape the future of the industry. By staying abreast of these trends and investing in the latest technologies, organizations can improve their security posture and protect their assets in an increasingly complex threat landscape.

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