Companies Are Adopting New Security Tools, but Could Still Miss the Big Picture


We all know that nearly every industry is being transformed by technology. The security and protection sector, which has long lagged behind others, has been gaining traction on this front for years as new tools are created to assist global security teams in identifying and monitoring a variety of threats.

The pandemic has accelerated this trend. Notably, in our 2022 State of Protective Intelligence Report, 93% of respondents said that their company was actively adopting new threat intelligence, monitoring and alerting solutions for physical security, cybersecurity, human resources, legal and compliance – but still has no definitive strategy for holistic data analysis and reporting.

That finding was reinforced by another survey response. When we asked security, legal, and compliance professionals what they saw as the biggest challenges facing the security industry in 2022, threat data management rose to the top by 40% of respondents, up from 32% in 2021.

The failure to analyze and integrate the data they receive is causing two substantial problems: 

Lack of a Common Understanding of Threats. Even though the physical security team is usually tracking threat information most closely, other teams in the organization also depend on receiving the same timely and accurate information. The organization can counter threats most effectively when physical security, cybersecurity, human resources, legal and compliance have a shared understanding of these threats based on fully integrated data.   

Potential for Missed Threats. While the use of physical security tools has decreased the need for some types of labor-intensive protection work, analysts are overwhelmed with the digital firehose of threat information. In our survey, nearly three-quarters of respondents expect physical threat volume to increase in 2022, and 41% anticipate they will miss 51-100% of them. 

For those of us that have put in years and decades in the protection business, the technological change is incredible. Analysts and field agents once relied on bulky and time-consuming processes, which included going to the courthouse to pull records on POIs, and even logging license plate numbers by hand. Now, background checks and court records can be digitally sourced in seconds. Cameras have the ability to log license plate numbers of vehicles that demonstrate suspicious activity.

Today’s threat environment demands cross-functional communication. Security teams need to be in constant contact with other corporate functions including human resources, legal, IT and Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS). And they need to share data as well. Here’s an example: An overwhelming majority of organizations report that they have policies in place to notify security, human resources, and the legal department when an employee is terminated. 

But those policies aren’t consistently applied. According to our survey, 86% said violence or harm occurred in the past year when an employee was furloughed or fired because their organization does not consistently notify physical security, legal, or human resources, nor are they present when the dismissal takes place. 

That track record can be better, and it speaks to a security environment that relies on tools in a disconnected, ad hoc manner. To leverage all of the benefits of these advancements, physical security teams need to embrace the transformation. Now, more than ever, companies need to unite this data and find new ways of working together to solve critical problems.

Hear security leaders share insights from the 2022 State of Protective Intelligence report in the 2022 Security Outlook webinar on-demand. To learn more about our findings, download the report here.