Physical security trends of 2017

Innovative solutions are continually being developed to offer enterprises a better way to manage physical security. As we near the end of another year, let’s take a look back at the trends that made waves in 2017. 

Bluetooth Access Control

This year, Bluetooth has been a key buzzword in the physical security space. We’ve seen Bluetooth used on the front door of consumers’ homes for a while now, but with slightly slower enterprise adoption the trend has finally made its way to the workplace. Companies are growing more interested in removing NFC as their current reader technology and replacing it with BLE readers and locks themselves. The added security and convenience that comes with making the move from a key card to a smartphone to open a door, is becoming more appealing as people begin replacing other things, like credit cards, cash, tickets, and more, with a smartphone. 

Wireless Locks

2017 also saw a major shift from wired to wireless access control. This is likely because the technology is so easy to install and maintain. And, with greater adoption, we are seeing falling prices, making the option more affordable than ever. On the other hand, wired locks are less cost-efficient and much more difficult to bring deeper into a site than wireless access control. According to Charlie Erickson, executive VP of product management at 3xLOGIC, there are two things that people equate to wireless. “One is accessing a door wirelessly via a mobile phone or credential. Wireless to others means the physical reader and strike at the door is battery powered and communicates wirelessly to the network. The door is not wired or the person is not wired.” Whether you associate “wireless” access control with the first or second definition, lock and control panel manufacturers agree that one thing is certain: to ignore this trend is to risk falling behind.

Subscription Services

In regards to security and surveillance, there has been a significant rise in the importance of subscription and managed services. On top of significant cost savings and flexibility that come with 3rd party ownership, moving data and computing to the cloud is allowing organizations to transfer a big piece of their cyber security risk to companies who have entire teams dedicated to maintain security of the data. Now end users typically view security as an operational expense rather than a capital one.  

Camera Price Erosion

The worldwide growth of video surveillance grew at an exceptional rate this year, however, the overall revenue growth is not as high as you might think. Demand is very high for the cameras themselves, but average prices dropped significantly for cameras and related equipment this year. To put it into perspective, the average global price of an IP camera at about $500 USD in 2010 dropped to less than $100 by 2017. That is a drastic decrease in such a short period of time, and experts predict the prices will only continue to drop in the coming year.

I think we can all agree that 2017 was a big year of change, and the industry will likely keep changing as we move into 2018. New technologies are being adopted and products are being introduced to market at a faster rate than ever before, and it’s an exciting time to be a player in the physical security space.