Signs of pandemic recovery are visible everywhere. Vaccines are readily available. Offices are reopening for full-time and hybrid work. Students returned to school and headed to camp. And people are going on vacation again.

What is less visible is an undercurrent of frustration bubbling up to an expanding threat landscape brought on by 18 months of social isolation, political turmoil, and financial uncertainty for millions. The January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has been followed by an uptick in mass shootings. Through June, 317 mass shootings took place in the U.S, up 27% from the same point in 2020 and 58% from the same point in 2019, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

For corporate security professionals, the physical attack threat is compounded by its emanating from a rising tide of cyber threats that have disrupted critical supply chains and commandeered enterprise IT networks with ransomware.

To fully understand the physical security challenges unfolding at businesses in 2021 as America emerges from the pandemic, we at the Ontic Center of Protective Intelligence conducted a mid-year survey of 300 physical security and IT executives at some of the world’s largest companies. Our 2021 Mid-Year Outlook State of Protective Intelligence Report — The Escalating Physical Threat Landscape: A Clarion Call for Corporate Protective Intelligence, notes these professionals are finding the rise in physical threats unmanageable. This threat to business continuity will only grow and three-quarters agree physical threats will increase exponentially as companies begin to reopen and return to the office. At the same time, they are frustrated by the lack of holistic security intelligence across the cyber and physical domains.

More than two-thirds of respondents, 69 percent, agreed that in the first few months of 2021 alone missed threats resulted in  physical harm to employees, customers and human assets for their company.

The events of the past 18 months have compelled just about every type of business to accelerate its digital transformation. That change is coming to the physical security industry as well. Cybersecurity and physical security teams are starting to have the tools and data to speak the same language, to cooperate, to coordinate, and protective intelligence must lead the way.

— Fred Burton
Executive Director, Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence

 

Want to dive deeper into our research findings? Register now for our August 4th webinar, 2021 Mid-Year Physical Security Outlook: The Escalating Threat Landscape.

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