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I’m thinking big this week. Like really big. Like mega-big, if there’s such a word.  

Why do I have “mega” on the brain this week? Well, the Security Industry Association (SIA) just revealed its 2024 Security Megatrends, an annual report that reveals the coming year’s top 10 factors “influencing both short- and long-term change in the global security industry,” as the association describes it.

2024 Security MegatrendsSpeaking of reveals, the Megatrends report certainly opened some eyes with its unprecedented announcement that one trend was so large and impactful heading into 2024, it needed to be separated into four components!

What is this Megatrend that is arguably THE buzzword in the security space right now? It can be summed up in two letters – AI.

Back in October, I listened to two days of discussions centered around artificial intelligence during SIA’s Securing New Ground (SNG) conference in New York City.

In fact, during SNG, Brivo CEO Steve Van Till predicted that AI would overtake cyber/physical security as the top SIA Security Megatrend in 2024, and boy was he right!

As SIA noted when announcing the release of the 2024 Megatrends report, the AI trend is so “vast and multifaceted” that it was split into four components that are trends unto themselves, which make up the top four Security Megatrends of 2024 - the Security of AI; Visual Intelligence, Not Video Surveillance; Generative AI; and Regulation of AI.

SIA Board of Directors Chair James Rothstein noted AI’s value to the security industry when the Megatrends report came out.

“As every great business leader knows, the value of their people is of the most importance, and that still holds true in a world that relies more on AI,” he said. “Protecting people will always be the greatest value we can provide, but as an industry, we are insatiable in our quest for progress and will never stop as we unlock new value for our customers, clients, and partners.”

SIA noted that with AI being the overarching megatrend as we head into 2024, the security of AI must be at the top because, well, as the association pointed out, “this is the security industry, after all, and we always lead with protection and trust.

“With the ongoing adoption of AI into businesses of all sizes, the need to prioritize cybersecurity for the protection of data, IP and corporate integrity has never been greater. A comprehensive and proactive security posture for AI should enable an organization to devise, develop and deploy machine learning models from day one in a secure environment, with real-time awareness that’s easy to access, understand and act upon. There is an opportunity for integrators and manufacturers to understand AI impacts on their business and their customers.”

The report continued, “AI security tools and platforms should protect organizations with smaller budgets who must turn to open-source marketplaces for machine learning models or ready-to-use AI components by allowing them to use these products with safety and security from the start. Without tools to monitor the health and security of AI models in use, it’s only a matter of when, not if, a company will experience a security breach.”

We learned at SNG that the camera has evolved to become the “ultimate sensor,” with AI “permanently changing the value proposition of video surveillance. It’s now visual intelligence, not video surveillance,” according to the report, hence Megatrend No. 2.

“The camera is rapidly becoming the ‘everything tool’ in our industry - moving beyond its early capacity as a recording device and creating the opportunity for exponential value,” the report stated. “More than a camera, these devices are a platform for multiple sensors. AI and analytics applied to these cameras’ sensors will make the cameras 10, 100 or maybe even 1,000 times more valuable to end users. The capabilities of visual intelligence are evolving, and businesses are beginning to create a visual intelligence infrastructure.”

Generative AI ranked No. 3 on the Megatrends top 10, with the report noting how the world at large has embraced large language model (LLM) applications like ChatGPT, as well as generative AI, to do things like write poems and essays or help programmers write code.

The report stated that as these technologies improve and adoption expands, the security industry is likely to change in three primary areas:

1. LLM applications (like ChatGPT) will be applied to security systems data

2. Generative AI will be used for content creation

3. Generative AI applications will be applied to solving business operational challenges

Regulation of AI rounded out the top four Megatrends, with the report indicating that with AI serving as the “key to dramatic change in the future of the security industry, accompanying that change will likely be a wave of regulations that establish a framework on AI. Coupled closely with Megatrend No. 1, the Security of AI, this trend of regulation is the mechanism to ensure trust and transparency.

“The security industry, and all industries using artificial intelligence, should expect widespread regulation of AI applications in the coming years, but many believe having a framework could actually speed up development of AI technology. Regulation of AI is coming, so the AI landscape of tomorrow is likely one that involves more compliance, more data privacy and likely even more openness/transparency about the algorithms themselves and how they are applied.”

While AI dominated the top four on the Megatrends list, there was some concern from security technology firms about expanding implementation of AI applications. In fact, 54 percent of those firms, in a survey conducted by SIA, said their public perception of some AI technologies, such as facial recognition, was limiting further expansion into AI applications, due in some part to the fact that the legal framework was not clearly defined at a federal level.

The report noted that “Once AI regulatory guidance and implementation policies existing at the U.S. federal level or from the European Union, this may give practitioners in these regions enough confidence to being to expand their implementation of AI.”

I’m sure this hot-off-the-press Security Megatrends report will be a water cooler topic in the weeks and months to come. With AI having a stranglehold on this report, the top Megatrend, oops, top four Megatrends in the industry will continue to be a focal point of mega proportions.

Did I say I have “mega” on the brain?


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