The security industry is growing in a massive way, with both cybersecurity and traditional security professions expected to grow by an average of 18 percent through the end of the decade. This rate of growth is far faster than the national average growth rate across all industries and occupations, and it suggests that there will be several trends emerging in the industry that are worth watching. As growth continues, and as the need for online and offline security continues to grow, these trends will characterize everything from education to job openings and career paths for security professionals.
#1: A Massive Increase in Information Security Hiring
Security has long been divided into two major groups: In-person security and cybersecurity. This is an antiquated view of the industry that will quickly diminish through the rest of the decade. As the world becomes extremely connected, with laptops, tablets, smartphones, cloud-based document storage, and an all-digital approach to documentation, the security industry will need more people to focus solely on information security.
Information security is primarily concerned with building highly secure systems to store protected documents, emails, and other correspondence, and even works as a disaster recovery effort when a hack has taken place. These professionals typically require at least a graduate degree in the field; they represent the most in-demand and most highly educated security professionals in today’s marketplace.
#2: The Hyper-Secure Smart Home of the Future
Much has been made of the “smart home” and the “connected car,” but only one of these has implications for the security industry. While home security and alarm services are nothing new, today’s vendors are increasingly focusing on the hyper-secure, fully connected home of the future. That means high-tech devices that interact directly with Apple HomeKit and Google Home, complete with remote home monitoring via window and door sensors, indoor and outdoor sensors, and much more.
This high-tech transformation of the home will transform home security vendors and create a much broader market for security technology. It could throw into question the monthly subscription fees and device fees paid to traditional vendors, bring down prices for high-tech monitoring equipment, and encourage more do-it-yourself implementations at home.
#3: The Impact of Terrorism on Security Services
Terrorism used to be about impacting large groups of people in a single area, but the technique of terrorist groups has shifted in recent years to small, coordinated, multi-point attacks that put small numbers of civilians at risk. Countering this threat now involves more than the international intelligence community.
Now and in the future, the security industry will be charged with protecting people from terrorist attacks as well. Their work may even prevent the terrorist attacks of the future, which will likely involve attacks on cloud services and online services that provide access to news and information. The security industry will be charged with protecting everything from shopping malls to Dropbox servers, keeping out foreign hackers, domestic enemies and those who would launch small-scale attacks in public places.
#4: Consolidation Among Security Services and Vendors
In a bygone era, corporations often outsourced their security needs to a whole host of companies. They’d get personal security service from one vendor, continuous electronic monitoring of their facilities from another, information security from another, and so on. That approach is increasingly being viewed unfavorably by managers who are looking to consolidate security services in the interest of simplicity and cost savings.
This new management perspective will force security companies to offer a broader portfolio of products. Those companies that cannot afford to offer a broader portfolio will be forced to consolidate with their competition in order to remain viable. Through the end of the decade, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the number of security firms at least cut in half.
#5: There’s An App For That
iPhone and other smart phone apps are nothing new, but even the security guard industry is starting to see it’s own industry specific apps coming onto the market. These include everything from reporting apps that allow guards to quickly and easily prepare and submit reports to apps like Guardly, which allows users to transform their smartphones into personal emergency phones. When launched, Guardly can transmit the user’s real-time GPS location and give them 2-way communication with their personal safety network, first responders, or security guards simultaneously.
Technology is Going to Rapidly Transform the Security Industry
Technology has already changed the security industry in major ways, but it’s not done yet. As technology gets smaller and devices become more universally connected to cloud services and the Internet at large, the industry will become more concerned with monthly subscription revenue, information assurance, and consolidation. Within a few years, the industry will be transformed into one that has a few major players, millions of small IoT devices, and billions in monthly subscription revenue.