Check out the security industry’s Top 10 Megatrends for 2021 — what’s new, and the COVID effect

by Brianna Crandall — November 18, 2020 — The Security Industry Association (SIA) has identified and forecasted the 2021 Security Megatrends, which form the basis of SIA’s signature annual Security Megatrends report identifying the top 10 factors influencing both short- and long-term change in the global security industry — this year reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The selection of 2021’s Security Megatrends was based on fall 2020 focus groups, interviews and survey data gathered from top security industry business leaders, in addition to input from Securing New Ground (SNG) conference speakers.

Each year, SIA produces the Security Megatrends report, which is made available to SIA member companies and registered attendees of SNG, the security industry’s executive conference. The Security Megatrends are the top forces at play in security, expected to have far-reaching impacts on businesses across the industry. As such, these trends played an instrumental role in the insights and discussions at SNG (virtual for 2020), an annual conference bringing together the leading entrepreneurs, luminaries, CEOs and investors in the security industry for top-level information sharing, networking and business analysis.

For the first time, artificial intelligence (AI) has been named the top Security Megatrend, rising from a position of being the second ranked Megatrend in 2020’s report, and rising from the fifth-ranked position in 2019’s report. Input from survey participants and from focus groups and interviews indicated that AI — along with AI variants such as machine learning, deep learning and artificial neural networks — were in the product roadmaps for nearly all security technology solutions.

The cybersecurity of physical security systems and solutions, which had held the top spot for the last two Security Megatrends reports, retained its influence, and was ranked second, behind AI. Given the impact of the pandemic, respondents’ input also placed the trend of touchless/frictionless on the Top 10 list of trends; the frictionless trend had previously been identified as a microtrend. Other SIA resources and webinars point to the impact of the pandemic on data privacy and facial recognition, the benefits of an integrated AI platform in a pandemic world, and more.

Also new to the 2021 ranking of trends was the trend of predictive data analytics, which would assist in providing meaningful insights into the volume of data that IoT devices and security and software systems can create, and the trend of responsive environments and intelligent spaces – indicating the application of technology solutions to automate and elevate environments such as homes, buildings and cities.

SIA’s Top 10 Security Megatrends for 2021 are:

  1. Artificial Intelligence
  2. Cybersecurity of Physical Security
  3. Predictive Data Analytics
  4. Connectivity and the IoT of Everything
  5. Cloud Computing
  6. Touchless & Frictionless Solutions
  7. Facial Recognition
  8. Responsive Environments & Intelligent Spaces
  9. Emphasis on Data Privacy
  10. Move to Service Models

Pierre Trapanese, chair of the SIA Board of Directors, remarked:

Artificial intelligence is resoundingly the dominant Security Megatrend for 2021. AI is the underlying trend driving future technological advancements in the security industry, and ultimately AI offers the promise of making security and safety solutions more effective, efficient, automated and responsive to users and customers. The adoption of AI by the security industry will not, however, be an overnight change; instead, it will shape the long-term evolution of security solutions and will be an avenue for growth, competition and creativity for many years to come.

In addition to defining the latest Security Megatrends, the forecast for 2021 also identified “security microtrends” and potential areas of disruption within the security industry. The official 2021 Security Megatrends report will be published in early December 2020 and will be available online for download and/or purchase from the SIA Research page.

For comparison, see also “Cybersecurity and AI lead the Top 10 security megatrends for 2020; find out the rest” on FMLink.