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Drawing on information sourced from a recent survey of security industry professionals and their customers, the Australian Security Market Review 2019 offers valuable industry data, insights and trends, as well as predicted areas of growth over the next three to five years.
The survey respondents
Survey respondents were made up of suppliers, installers, integrators and end users, who were all asked their opinions on topics such as product demand and spend, current and anticipated challenges, industry trends, expected growth areas, and technological advancements.
In positive signs for the industry, the majority of respondents believed that demand for security products will continue to grow over the next three to five years. This demand is being driven by a number of factors, including better affordability, the need to combat the rise in cybercrime, ease of integration into other systems and platforms, and the rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Analysts agree with respondents on the need to combat cybercrime with better cyber security. The incidence of targeted cyber security attacks on Australian organisations is increasing, with research showing it more than doubled in the year to 2018. Therefore, a swathe of research is focused on how better cyber security is likely to benefit businesses and the wider economy.
Estimates suggest spending on cyber security measures is set to increase by 88% to US$248 billion by 2026, and Australian companies will have the opportunity to benefit from this.
Research also indicates the next decade will see the rapid growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) market as connected smart devices continue to infiltrate companies and homes.
When it came to challenges the industry is currently facing (and expected to face in the future), the survey focused predominantly on suppliers. Many respondents identified keeping up-to-date with new technology as an ongoing challenge. A lack of qualified staff was also mentioned, as was educating customers on the benefits and value of security to their business.
These findings suggest a need for better training and accreditation of personnel within the Australian security industry to ensure staff have the skills required to respond to an increasing number of threats and to apply their knowledge in a dynamic environment.
A changing security landscape – in which both digital and physical threats are commonplace and quite often integrated – presents a new challenge for security personnel that will require knowledge across a range of different environments and platforms.
Some security professionals have called for better regulation of accreditation to meet the demands of a growing industry that will not only be better equipped to deal with a complex security environment now, but also to adapt to new threats in the future.
Better industry-wide collaboration is required to help counteract a growing threat of terrorism and to counteract the threat of international cyber-attack. This can only be achieved with a highly professional security workforce that is also keeping up to date with rapidly changing technology.
Consultation with key government departments involved in Australia’s national security is also vital to ensure the security industry is a key player in protecting Australia’s interests and assets, industry experts say.
How best to integrate physical and electronic security is a topic of great importance in the industry as professionals grapple with the need to maintain a security presence across multiple operational fronts.
In the respondents’ answers, it was interesting to note that a number of suppliers also suggested the issue of automation replacing personnel as an issue that will present a growing challenge for the industry.
There is evidence to indicate that automation will result in fewer personnel. However, as this report will show, automation is also a potential area for growth within the Australian economy. Companies that have the foresight to adopt automated security technologies in coming years can leverage the financial gains this is likely to bring.
How companies will balance the operational advantages of using new technologies such as facial recognition with a need for privacy is still unclear and should also present a challenge to the industry in the next decade.
Major industry trends
When survey respondents were asked about major industry trends (both now and in the future), the rise in cybercrime and the evolution of new technology were the two main responses. It was to be expected therefore, that current product trends identified included cyber security, CCTV monitoring and smart cameras, and biometrics and facial recognition.
Better cyber security in the corporate sector is on the minds of many industry leaders because of a range of attacks that have disrupted some businesses and crippled others in recent years.
Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated, employing a range of software applications such as worms, spyware, ransomware, logic bombs and others. Attacks come in the form of denial-of-service (DoS), phishing and man-in-the-middle (MitM), to name just a few.
The motives of cyber criminals vary. Some are even state operators intending to steal data or disrupt public or private sector organisations.
Notable breaches have not only boosted awareness of vulnerability to cyber-attack, they have elicited a number of responses, including the Australian Government’s Cyber Security Strategy. This involves investing more than $230 million in cyber security measures, including developing Academic Centres of Cyber Security Excellence to combat the problem.
However, cyber-attacks on Australian businesses continue in 2019. Toyota Australia endured a cyber-attack of its customer data in February, while outdoor equipment retailer Kathmandu’s online store was hacked for credit card details in March. Such attacks cause major disruptions.
Respondents also identified three areas that are expected to see significant growth in the foreseeable future, namely IP and the Cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Biometrics and Facial Recognition. Driving this growth will be improved accessibility/reliability/affordability, increased demand, and enhanced network speed and capacity.
Research shows growth in the adoption of IT and the cloud is also being driven by the need for better cyber security. However, there are also concerns about keeping cloud data secure from cyber-attack as this form of data management is especially prone to misconfiguration attacks.
While the fast adoption of IoT technologies represents an opportunity for growth for Australian businesses, it also presents a significant risk because of the difficulty in securing IoT devices. This is partly due to how IoT devices work.
There’s no doubt the Australian security market is extremely robust and adaptable. What’s more, technological advancements and customer demand forces professionals to continually evolve their product offering, which in turn drives innovation and ensures a secure future for the industry.
Read the full report
To access the full Security Market Review 2019: Navigating an Evolving Security Landscape, attend the Security Exhibition & Conference at the ICC Sydney, 24 – 26 July 2019. Registering now gives attendees free access to the exhibition and skips the $25 door fee.
The Security Exhibition & Conference, 24-26 July 2019, ICC Sydney, is the industry’s annual opportunity to reunite for three days of quality networking and unrivalled education alongside a showcase of the most innovative solutions to the Australian market. For over three decades it has been the largest and most established commercial event for the security industry in Australia, bringing together the entire supply chain of manufacturers, distributors, security professionals and end users to connect and create unparalleled business opportunities.