For many businesses, local governments, and other organizations, 2023 was a welcome return to something like business as usual. The COVID pandemic was firmly in the rearview mirror, and habits around remote work and business health and safety have stabilized.

Security professionals can never rest easy, though, as new threats, technologies, and changes in the wider world are always on the horizon. 2024 will surely be no exception. 

As 2023 ends, we here at Real Time Networks want to pause and look ahead at the trends in physical security coming in 2024. Most of the trends we highlighted from 2023 are still in play. Security professionals and physical security-conscious organizations will want to think about a new range of influences, including the impact of AI on cybersecurity convergence and security threats, evolving regulatory landscapes, and continued global uncertainty. 

Continued Emphasis on Cybersecurity 

In 2024, physical and digital security will become even more intertwined. This convergence is more of a necessity than just a passing trend. Modern physical security solutions rely heavily on networked technologies, which can become vulnerable points of entry for cyber threats. Ensuring that surveillance cameras, access control systems, and smart lockers are protected from cyberattacks will be paramount. 

Ransomware attacks targeting physical security systems, such as access control and surveillance, have increased. These attacks can disrupt essential operations and compromise sensitive data. To counter this, organizations must employ robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard their assets and data. 

Move towards a Zero-Trust framework for physical security         

In a zero-trust security model, trust is never assumed, even among devices on the same network. This approach ensures that every access request is verified through physical or digital channels. It doesn’t matter whether the requestor was previously authorized through another layer. Every request is treated as brand new under the assumption that the user might have been compromised in between requests.  



Convergence of technology and teams       

As threats increase, the boundaries between physical and IT security teams will also blur. Collaborative efforts will become the norm, as both teams must work together to protect the entire security ecosystem. 

Cybersecurity is not solely an IT department concern. Employees across all departments must be educated about the risks, best practices, and their role in maintaining a secure environment. Security training and awareness programs will be fundamental to preventing human errors that can lead to security breaches. 

AI and Automation

These cutting-edge technologies are poised to transform how we protect assets, manage access, and ensure the safety of individuals and our entire organizations. AI-driven predictive analytics will play a pivotal role in identifying potential security threats. When fed with data from surveillance cameras, access control systems, and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, machine learning algorithms can anticipate security breaches, abnormal activities, or potential safety hazards. This predictive power allows security teams to act proactively and mitigate risks before they escalate. 

Automation in access control systems simplifies operations and enhances security. Facial recognition, fingerprint scans, and behavioral biometrics rapidly replace traditional access cards and PINs. This boosts security and makes access control more convenient for system users.

Learn More: Everything You Need to Know About Artificial Intelligence and Physical Security

Asset Tracking Systems for Physical SecurityAdvanced new smart asset tracking 

Tracking valuable assets is also critical to organizational security, especially in healthcare, shipping and logistics, and manufacturing sectors. AI, especially powered by IoT networks, is being harnessed to automate asset tracking, making it easier to locate, monitor, and secure valuable equipment or inventory. 

Both AI and automation are making physical security more scalable and cost-effective. In 2024, small to medium businesses and organizations will be able to harness the power of AI-driven security, benefiting from advanced threat detection and access control—technologies previously only affordable with an enterprise-scale budget. 

Biometric and Access Control Innovation 

Biometric security is no longer restricted to fingerprints or facial recognition alone. Multimodal biometrics are emerging as the new standard. This approach combines various biometric identifiers like fingerprints, facial features, retinal scans, voice recognition, and behavioral biometrics to provide access control. Such combinations enhance accuracy and security, making it significantly more challenging for bad actors to breach your security perimeters and reach your assets. 

Sustainability and Environmental Security 

The domain of physical security in business continues to grow. Beyond traditional measures aimed at protecting assets and individuals, organizations increasingly recognize the need to safeguard their operations against environmental risks and contribute to a more sustainable future. We expect a few key trends to grow in importance over 2024. 

Environmental monitoring     

Integrating environmental sensors in physical security systems will become the new norm. These sensors detect and provide real-time data on environmental parameters, such as air quality, temperature, humidity, and seismic activity. This information is essential for ensuring the safety and well-being of personnel and assets. 


Emergency preparedness for environmental risks        

Organizations are enhancing their emergency preparedness plans to address environmental risks. This includes evacuation strategies for natural disasters and detailed response plans for various environmental contingencies. 



Evolving Privacy Regulations 

2024 marks a significant juncture in the evolution of these regulations. Organizations grapple with growing volumes of sensitive data while adhering to a complex web of privacy laws. 

Stricter cybersecurity measures 

Privacy regulations increasingly demand advanced cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive data. Expect a focus on encryption, access controls, and threat detection in compliance requirements. 

Stringent reporting requirements 

Regulations are placing greater emphasis on data breach notifications and incident reporting. Organizations will be compelled to notify affected parties and relevant authorities more promptly. 

International data transfers 

Cross-border data transfers are coming under scrutiny. Regulations like the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Schrems II ruling are driving organizations to adopt Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) and Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs) to ensure data transfers comply with privacy laws. 

Robust Physical Intrusion Detection (PID) 

Security as a discipline is full of unsung heroes. Heroic people, ideas, and technologies go unnoticed but do considerable heavy lifting in keeping our world safe. PID systems are poised to be the new unsung heroes that protect physical spaces, assets, and people from unauthorized access or malicious activities in 2024. 

Integrating physical intrusion detection with other security measures, such as video surveillance and access control, will become more seamless. This convergence allows for an even more holistic approach to security, enhancing threat detection and response capabilities.

Wireless and IoT integration  

The wireless revolution has extended to intrusion detection systems. These systems can now be integrated with the IoT for improved communication, remote monitoring, and real-time alerts, enhancing the flexibility and reach of security solutions. Mobile technology allows security personnel to monitor intrusion detection systems on the go. They will be able to receive alerts, view video feeds, and respond to threats from their smartphones or tablets, enhancing response times and efficiency. 

Security systems can analyze intrusion data to provide insights into intrusion patterns and vulnerabilities. This data-driven approach helps organizations make informed decisions about security improvements and threat prevention.

Continued Global Uncertainty 

This is not so much a prediction as an understanding of the world today: geopolitical conflicts will continue to shape international relations. From disputes over territorial boundaries to trade wars, global tensions often have far-reaching consequences at the regional and local levels, including in business. That unpredictability can create ripples throughout the global economy and security landscape. 

Cyber and information warfare are increasingly common tactics state and non-state actors use to gain influence, disrupt operations, or steal sensitive data. The growing prevalence of ransomware attacks and sophisticated espionage campaigns are just a few manifestations of this threat. And although counterterrorism efforts have made strides, terrorism and extremism persist as threats in various regions. Evolving tactics and the use of digital platforms for recruitment and radicalization keep counterterrorism agencies on high alert. 

Health security   

Climate change has far-reaching security implications. Rising sea levels, resource scarcity, and climate-induced migration exacerbate tensions in regions prone to climate-related conflict. And the global COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the importance of health security. Emerging infectious diseases remain a significant global threat that requires preparedness and international cooperation. Economic uncertainties, including global supply chain disruptions and financial crises, can have severe repercussions. The interconnectedness of the global economy means that financial shocks in one part of the world can quickly spread to others. 

New security tech will enable novel physical security practices in 2024 and beyond 

Real Time Networks sees many interesting challenges and opportunities for physical security teams. More than most teams should try to tackle on their own. Instead of going it alone, work with a reliable security and business system provider that can find the best, smartest ways to automate your security operations. Find new efficiencies to better protect the health and safety of your personnel and stay ahead of the competition in 2024 and beyond.  


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