Empowering Your Company to Embrace Integration & AI – Security Magazine

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According to the recently released Brivo 2024 Top Global Security Trends Report, the security industry today is bursting with innovation. But there are also constraints and challenges to adopting these innovations. At the heart of this transition is the chief security officer, and their budget and authority to get these initiatives accepted by their company.

This is the seventh annual Global Trends report, this year based on 850 responses from security professionals across the U.K., U.S., and Europe, asking the opinions of physical security teams in financial services, technology & IT, manufacturing, retail and more.

The report identified three top trends for 2024:

1. Security teams are prioritizing integration to attain technology modernization. 

According to the report, “The need to integrate security systems with cross-functional areas was the top priority for small businesses and large enterprises. Linking physical security across other parts of the business, like the employee experience, HR software or facility management applications, is a running theme throughout this report.”

But there are also cautionary notes. Thirty-six percent of security teams lack say they “lack confidence in their systems ability to keep their employees and facilities safe,”  with this rising to almost half in front-line roles.

 While many security practitioners have lofty goals for 2024 to integrate security systems with other areas in their organizations, modernize legacy security systems and build a SOC, this is tempered by the challenges of integrating new solutions with existing technology, a lack of alignment between security and other departments, and a lack of budget.

Of these challenges, ease of integration with other systems was a bigger barrier to adopting new technology than budget constraints.

2. High expectations for AI. 

The second trend is the push for artificial intelligence. The reported stated: “In a year of technological advancements, AI emerges as a frontrunner, promising transformative potential across industries, especially in security. Security professionals are ready to embrace change, leveraging trends like cloud-based solutions and rising customer expectations. Adaptation is essential as digital transformation reshapes security landscapes to meet evolving demands and expectations.”

While IT is the business function 55 percent of respondents predict will see the most impact from AI, security was a close second, with 48 percent.

“This highlights that professionals are recognizing the significant benefits that GenAI, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing will have in the near future for physical security use cases,” the Brivo report stated. Of large enterprises in the U.S., 60 percent reported they plan to invest over $1 million annually in AI over the next three years. 

However, globally, confidence in their organization’s ability to understand and implement AI was relatively low, at 36 percent. And budgets were also cited as a constraint. 

The report suggests clear policy and data governance processes can help to overcome these challenges. “We’ve already seen good progress on this front, with President Biden’s AI Executive Order in the U.S. and the EU AI Act in motion in Europe,” the report stated. “It’s now up to organizations to reflect this in their internal policy too. Upskilling may be a longer-term commitment and will require a combination of investment, strategic hiring and a culture shift driven from the boardroom down to all levels of the organization.”

3. Greater need for CSO budget and authority.

With AI as a goal for many organizations, the role of chief security officer is more important than ever. Thus, Brivo asked respondents how this role is perceived among security professionals. 

The result was that nearly three-quarters — 74 percent — of security professionals see the CSO role as increasingly important in organizations but agree that increased authority and budget are needed to meet security objectives.

“Security needs a dedicated role at a high level to manage the risks and potential for AI,” the report stated. “Now that AI is accessible to anyone, there must be organizational policies to govern. CSOs will be vital in guiding teams through integrating this technology securely.”

However, the report also found that while more important than ever, many CSOs lack the appropriate budget or authority to take full advantage of new technologies — posing a challenge to upgrading security systems.

CSOs are responsible for only 42 percent of an organization’s security budget; and while 56 percent are more likely to be part of the team making security procurement decisions, only 32 percent agreed that the CSO is the ultimate decision maker.

Overall there is real cause for optimism in the security industry’s attitude towards technological modernization and appetite to explore new technologies like AI. But there are also there are real concerns around the barriers to change. 

“This year’s report has a lot to be optimistic about,” said Steve Van Till, founder and CEO of Brivo. “The security industry wants to embrace new technologies, and there is investment and belief in new advances. At the heart of these changes will be the CSO, and they will need support to make this a success.”

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