The Future of Physical Security

Fully Engrossed - Conference attendees listen intently

According to a 2018 report by Microsoft and Accenture entitled The Future of Physical Security, the digital revolution has transformed the world in a multitude of positive ways, but has also inadvertently created new threats through social media and messaging platforms. 

“Combating these threats requires intelligent applications that can rapidly sift through overwhelming amounts of data that cannot be processed at the human level. Recent developments in artificial intelligence and signals processing can help security catch up. As tools become more sophisticated and readily available, security organisations must adopt new practices and capabilities. Failure to transform will increase the likelihood of becoming a target,” the report warned.

“Digital transformation is a new opportunity to provide clarity and solutions to problems in security, Jeff Spivey, President of Security Risk Management, said in the report.

According to Michael Foynes, Senior Director, Microsoft Global Physical Security Operations: “Cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning with edge IoT are blurring the lines between logical and physical environments. Traditional security risk management and threat detection are quickly becoming obsolete. Security leaders who do not embrace a digital mindset risk becoming business irrelevant.”

An effective data strategy, the report noted, “will enable physical security to become the core intelligence platform of the organisation, transforming from a cost centre into a value hub.”

One of the world leaders in physical security products and services, Senstar, conducted a workshop on “The Future of Physical Security” at the 2019 bmobile Connect Technology Conference & Innovation Week, which was held in earlier this year at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad.

As he provided insights on some of the latest advances in perimeter security and video management systems and analytics, Senstar presenter Anthony Hackett, Director, North America Sales, also had this practical advice for his audience: “Don’t be wowed by what you see…beware of the hype…ask questions - is it accurate?  Is it practical?” 

He saw Trinidad and Tobago as an ideal testing ground for licence plate readers, noting that because of the country’s non-standardised licence plates, “if it works here, it would work anywhere.”

He also advised that the resolution of cloud video was usually too low to be practical for law enforcement but that most security cameras were quite good.  The value added was in the software applications and video and data analytics available from a company like Senstar, he said.  He invited the audience to visit the company’s website and experiment with it free software.

Touching on the Internet of things (IoT), Hackett explained that effectively managing its IoT landscape could help a company reduce costs, increase operational efficiencies and strengthen security.  This could range from being able to quickly find out when a device was installed, updating passwords across a range of devices, enabling proactive maintenance such as greasing, and monitoring manufacturer advisories.

Hackett also listed some of the practical applications for video analytics such as:

Face Recognition

  • VIP guests on property
  • Dual authentication for access control
  • Identify shoplifters, criminals, people with warrants for arrest
  • Forensic investigation

License Plate Recognition

  • Identify VIP
  • Identify a known plate for access to a controlled parking area
  • Forensic investigation

Perimeter Security

  • Use of analytics to create multiple layers of boundaries with multiple responses based on the threat
  • Identify people loitering around a property


  • Know when someone enters a specific area

Marketing Applications

  • Dwell Time analysis – The length of time a potential customer spends standing in front of a product or product display
  • People Counting – The number of people and time periods during the day that potential customers enter an area.

bmobile continues to lead the way in Trinidad and Tobago in ensuring its residential and enterprise customers can utilise the most advanced physical security solutions available by providing the high speed broadband internet platform to support those solutions.   In addition, bmobile’s world-class Data Centre can provide the high-end data services that underpin many of the revolutionary new physical security solutions being offered, including storage; back-up; co-location; disaster recovery and business continuity; add-on services; virtual machines; cloud computing and cloud services.