The security industry is in a state flux. Security firms are adopting a range of advanced, digitally connected technologies that converge with conventional security measures. These technologies enable security personnel to tackle new threats, centralise operations and access important data analytics for more effective security management.
The role of security personnel is also changing. No longer considered just “sentries” they are also becoming strategic data managers, planners, responders and customer-service representatives. As a consequence, there is a growing need for better training and company procurement to meet this changing need.
As technologies converge and new digital security risks arise, organisations are moving to formalise security management. However, for companies to truly implement successful security in a complex security landscape, a whole-of-market approach is required – one that encompasses next-generation cybertools and digital analytics, as well as new training protocols and risk-management techniques.
Banking and finance: robberies down, fraud up
The risk profile of banks has changed over the past two decades. Research suggests that robberies of financial institutions are on the decline and have largely been dealt with by effective cash security, cash recyclers at branches and the movement of would-be armed robbers to softer targets such as clubs, bottle shops and retail outlets.
However, Australia’s banks and financial institutions remain at high risk of security breaches, warns Daniel Lewkovitz, chief executive of security firm Calamity. “Banks by their very nature face tremendous risk of IT intrusion and risks to customer assets such as card skimming, cash syphoning off of accounts and general fraud that affects their customers,” Lewkovitz says. “These risks are generally less physical in nature but are still of utmost importance to the organisations.”
Credit card fraud remains a thorn in the side of financial institutions, with figures showing increasing activity. In the 12 months to June 2018, Australian credit card fraud grew by 4.8 per cent, totalling $565 million. However, 85 per cent of fraudulent credit card activity is now occurring online, prompting a greater call for two-factor authentication and other preventative measures such as online authentication of customer data with biometrics.
Counterfeit card skimming fell in the period 2016-2017 from $59.2 million in 2016 to $30.9 million in 2017. This decrease can most likely be attributed to the global shift to using EMV chip technology.
Cybercrime story: attention all segments
Cybercrime presents one of the highest risks across all security markets, but especially to financial institutions. In recent years, regulators of the financial and banking sector have focused on the increasing threat cybercrime poses to operations. The International Monetary Fundestimates that the average annual potential losses from cyberattacks is 9 per cent of banks’ net income globally, or $US100 billion.
Cyberattacks can have far-reaching implications for the sector, with attacks on specific institutions causing systemic effects that trickle down to third-party providers as well as stakeholders, and lower the confidence of creditors and consumers. New ways to counteract cyber threats in different online platforms are continually being developed, but their successful application requires industry collaboration. How to effectively secure a business from the current range of cyber threats across the different platforms – network security, cloud security and wireless security – will be one of the key components of this year’s 2019 Security Exhibition & Conference in Sydney.
The event is the leading exhibition and conference for innovators, professionals and business leaders in the Australian security industry, and the exhibition is free to attend.
Devil in the retail: spotlight on shrinkage
Shrinkage is staggeringly high in Australia’s retail market. According to the latest Sensormatic Global Shrink Index, Australia’s retail sector lost $US2.24 billion in 2017-18. This shrinkage can mainly be attributed to loss, theft and employee fraud.
Shoplifting from internal as well as external sources is a big concern for retailers. As well as dealing with petty thieves, retailers are contending with organised crime syndicates operating in Australia. “These syndicates are increasingly challenging retail security parameters with their elaborate networks,” Lewkovitz says.
The National Retail Association estimates internal fraud accounts for about 40 per cent of retail shrinkage. Organised crime syndicates are also operating inside retail organisations and much of this internal fraud could account for their operations. This kind of crime has traditionally been difficult for businesses to detect.
As a result of shrinkage, loss prevention remains a key issue for security personnel in the retail industry. In 2019 we are likely to see more retailers adopt technologies that have been proved to combat loss prevention, such as internet protocol (IP) surveillance cameras, high-level electronic article surveillance systems (EAS) and point-of-sale (POS) data analytics.
These technologies are not only providing innovation-savvy retailers with better detection and real-time security alerts, they also provide important insights, enabling them to spot trends and make important decisions across multiple stores.
Event management: prevention is better than chaos
Risks in the event management market are broad. Current threats range from food poisoning, theft, crowd control, violence, fire, terrorist attacks and data breaches – to name just a few.
Darren Horne, senior manager of security and safety at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, says the event-management industry is experiencing a greater need for security managers to focus on preventative rather than reactive security measures that encompass a much wider pool of threats. This trend is being driven by client expectations and a changing security environment, he says.
“Because of global incidents, clients are more aware of the threats to their own personal safety, so it’s not just security managers thinking about security and safety,” Horne says. “That means there is more emphasis on the planning phase of security and a greater consultation process with the client.”
As for security measures currently in place, Horne says event personnel are employing a diverse range of traditional security measures as well as more modern measures that reflect a changing security environment. “Physical security measures such as bag checking are still being used but we’re also starting to see advanced digital technologies like artificial intelligence, exception reporting and facial recognition via smart CCTV cameras,” he says.
Data security is also a priority for event management personnel. New regulations both in Australia and overseas, namely the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme (NDB Scheme) and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are putting pressure on Australian security personnel to better protect customer data.
According to Horne, the risk of terrorist attack is also a growing concern for security managers, especially at public events, and should be taken into consideration in risk-assessment strategies. “Here the emphasis is on looking at the wider potential for terrorist threats that encompasses traditional threats but also the rising trend of new threats where everyday items could be used to harm individuals,” Horne says.
Body of evidence: biometrics scales up
The financial market especially is seeing greater penetration of biometric technologies as security managers implement them as part of a multilayered security strategy.
These technologies include fingerprint scanning, facial recognition and voice recognition. Biometrics is being applied to electronic access control systems, smart CCTV cameras, smartphones and automatic teller machines.
For example,introduced voice recognition for customer identification and authentication in April 2017. It allows customers to use their voice to transfer amounts of more than $1000 through ANZ apps.
is also innovating for greater customer protection. The bank has revealed details of a new project to develop facial-recognition technology for customers using ATMs. The collaboration with tech giant will allow NAB customers to withdraw cash from ATMs without the use of a credit card.
Biometric technologies have also made a big splash in the retail sector and are proving useful in preventing identify fraud. This is mainly being facilitated by the use of smartphones. For example,, and as well as and have added some form of biometric verification to their payment systems in Australia.
now has Digital iD, an app that uses thumbprint verification for advanced customer verification. Some Australian Government departments, such as the are also using biometric verification in the form of voice-recognition technology.
Australian consumers have proven to be quick adopters. A Deloitte consumer survey shows Australians make an estimated 100 million imprints a day using smartphone fingerprint scanners.
Trending among security innovators is how businesses can take a broad systems view when assessing the performance of biometric systems.
Biometric technologies – including single and multifactor authentication solutions like fingerprint, iris, palm, face, vein, signature and voice – will be among the technologies showcased at the 2019 Security Exhibition & Conference.
Paradigm shift: profession in transition
As a result of increasing digital threats across different markets, the security industry is seeing the convergence of cybersecurity with physical and electronic security.
Formerly distinct technologies such as CCTV, keycard readers, electronic access control systems and alarms now have internet connectivity, offering greater synergies. This interconnectivity is allowing security managers a sweeping hand to monitor and manage threats from one operation instead of from separate operational fronts.
The changing security paradigm is also changing the role of the security manager from conventional guard to strategic data analyst as well as responder, says Andrew Tatrai, chairman and non-executive director of ACES and co-founder of Dynamic Crowd Management. Along with co-founder Travis Semmens, Tatrai has created DCM – an innovative, autonomous data-analytics solution that can ascertain the mood of crowds and has been used as a crowd-management solution at Vivid Sydney.
According to Tatrai, the security industry is not adapting to change fast enough. “Companies are still procuring security services and manpower services but they’re not seeking any tenders that combine technology with manpower,” he says.
“Corporate procurement needs to be more inventive and less risk-averse and seek new proposals that are moving with the times, rather than holding onto the idea that security needs to be compartmentalised – that we have manpower for one risk, a CCTV camera for another risk and an IT department for another,” he says.
One way businesses can adapt to change is by adopting artificial intelligence and examining how these technologies can be applied to their businesses hear from Andrew Tatrai at the Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Seminar at Security 2019.
Of keen interest to business personnel currently is how data from automated platforms can increase safety and efficiency, improve crowd management and customer experience and drive the growth and profitability of their business.
Business leaders can explore recent applications for data science at the Security Exhibition & Conference.
Ten years after: The decade’s challenges
According to market analysts, for businesses to get the most out of the new technologies and digital convergence, a whole-of-market approach is required. Security personnel will need to embrace the next generation of predictive and analytic technologies, but also incorporate new training protocols and risk-management techniques as an added layer against security threats.
“What’s required is a passion within organisations for innovation,” says Lewkovitz. “There can be a reluctance for businesses to try new technologies, and to keep doing the same thing they’ve been doing for years – badly. But if organisations look at providing this technology and these services as a commercial opportunity, that’s how they can benefit.”
This piece is part of a wider deep dive into the issues facing the Security industry in 2019, covering many more areas including workplace injury and assault, biometrics, CCTV, Cloud, AI/ML. Read more here.
Combat Security Threats in 2019
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