Before sharing the likely security industry trends for 2022, it is important to consider the key developments which have impacted us over the last few years – the largest, without doubt being COVID-19 and the impacts of the associated responses (lockdowns, masks, limited travel, etc.). I would also like to caveat that understandably, events/reactions have been different from country-to-country and that recovery/return to a ‘new normal’ is at different stages. With that in mind, I have focused on five key trends that look likely for 2022 and may well continue:
Increase in threat landscape
It is forecast that as we come out of COVID, we will see continued increases, not only in cyber-attacks, but also physical violence, fraud, protests and acts of terrorism. Much of this will be as a direct result of the imposed lockdowns and restrictions, which have hurt many businesses and individuals. Many have lost employment and social coping skills have degraded which may make them desperate or act irrationally. In addition, both lone actors and terrorist organisations have had much time to plan through this period and as such we are likely to see an increase in terrorist-related activities too.
Resilience and Presilience
As a result of COVID, many organisations have now realised that a compliance-based risk focus does not adequately prepare individuals nor organisations for disruption. The world is now by default Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous (VUCA) and as we move forward, the focus should shift to a more balanced approach between backwards-looking and fixed solutions (compliance centricity) to more adaptable, agile approaches that build resilience and ultimately Presilience (proactive prevention with balanced harm and opportunity/innovation centricity).
Many security practitioners have had to develop new skills and broadened their capabilities to include aspects such as holistic incident management, crisis response, conducting business resilience and continuity activities. This trend should be something that the security sector continues to expand into, with significant opportunities available for all players in the industry to develop their skill-sets.
Convergence and integration
In many ways. the security industry has evolved to be highly specialised and siloed. There is opportunity to integrate specialities across the ‘Whole of Person Model’, which includes Work, Personal and Virtual aspects. We already see many signs of convergence, i.e. cybersecurity integrating with conventional offerings such as electronic and protective security.
Increased dependency on experts and extended stagnation
Most managers and leaders have experienced significant decision/leadership fatigue from managing continuous disruption. As a result of this fatigue, it is likely they will lean on experts more in 2022. It would be smart for security experts to ensure they have positioned themselves as trusted advisors based on this trend. Conversely, the stagnation that many sectors have had to endure, where leaders and managers have been frozen/paralysed, unable (or perhaps unwilling), to make decisions, may continue into the first half of 2022, but realistically couldn’t continue much longer without severe economic repercussions.
Whilst none of us have a crystal ball that can forecast the future with absolute certainty, it is my hope that the five trends above might help all stakeholders in the industry prepare for and thrive during 2022.
Bio Dr Gavriel (Gav) Schneider is the creator of the concept of Presilience and an acknowledged leader in the fields of security risk management and counter terrorism. He is a leader in human based risk management and the psychology of risk, he is a serial entrepreneur and has been running his own businesses since 2001. He is one of the very few to make IFSEC Global Influencers in Security Thought Leadership top 20 list for three consecutive years. 2019, 2020 & 2021 as well as being awarded the risk consultant of the year 2019 (RMIA).
For more information, visit: risk2solution.com
This article was originally published in the December 2021 edition of International Security Journal. Pick up your FREE digital edition here