EXCLUSIVE: The rise of innovation for security


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As this COVID-19 crisis continues with the potential for the lockdowns across the world to be extended for many months, we are continuing to see innovation in the areas of ventilators and other medical equipment as the private sector talks up the challenge to fulfil the needs of society.

Physical security has traditionally been heavily focused on the 3G model of ‘Guards, Guns and Guards’, however as we find ourselves being restricted to working from home along with the international travel restrictions, we are being forced to explore new avenues and ideas often with positive results. Video conferencing for example has exploded in numbers of users with an accompanying need for upgraded features and fast internet connections.

The security industry has also traditionally drawn many professionals from government institutions, many of which may not have been as eager as the private sector to engage early adoption of modern technology or innovation; thus, the challenge to ourselves is how can we:

  • Prepare and enable ourselves and become the early adopters?
  • Inspire our team (and colleagues) to innovate?
  • Encourage our organisations to adopt the innovation in our quest to continue to protect our society?

We should also ask ourselves the question:

  • What do we need to improve or do differently to be able to adequately protect those who rely upon us for protection?

Within all of us as security professionals is an immense collection of experiences, skills, education and capabilities that we need to be able to share and potentially release to protect society perhaps even to enable society to better protect itself.

Education and information sharing are often touted as a natural enemy of terrorism and oppression, especially when you analyse the actions and behaviours of terrorist groups such as the Taliban, Daesh and extremists of both the far left and far right. If we accept that education and innovation are explicitly linked, then we must ask ourselves, are we equipping ourselves with the tools for innovation? As security professionals, we undoubtedly foresee security threats and risks alongside their potential to harm the assets of what we seek to protect.

We have posed many questions to ask ourselves, without providing clear answers; yet the overriding consideration may be – how can we use this opportunity to better prepare ourselves and society through innovation?

With most of western society obsessed with real time information sharing via electronic handheld devices equipped with the ability to instantly communicate via voice, text, data and video; let’s use this opportunity to find greater efficiencies and effectiveness in our delivery of security solutions through the use of this (and other) technology to improve our effectiveness and efficiency.

The proverb ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ is perhaps most relevant for the security industry right now, so I am eager to collaborate with the global security industry so we can discover and champion innovation which provides society with the adequate level of security that it deserves.

John Cowling

By John Cowling, Director – Middle East, AcuTech Consulting

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