Trends to enhance safety and security

Issue 2/3 2023 Security Services & Risk Management

While companies seek innovative crime prevention measures, criminals are also exploring better ways to commit crimes. There is no doubt that load shedding has made the jobs of security providers harder, as it poses a double threat, compromising existing security resources and emboldening criminals to operate with more impunity.

With this in mind, residents and business owners need to stay ahead of criminal activities, this according to George Fitzroy, Managing Director of Security at facilities management company, Servest. He offers some security trends to enhance safety and security.

Remote Biometric Authentication (RBA) is the future.

For those security providers who can keep the lights on during load shedding, Remote Biometric Authentication (RBA) is perhaps the leading example of security innovation that can enhance the security of access to sensitive data at home, work, or when using money management systems. This is done through voice or other types of biometric authentication, including face recognition, palm vein, or fingerprints.

Banks and financial institutions were among the first to use RBA for digital authentication. The use of RBA is growing in healthcare, retail, telecommunications, education, government, and the travel and tourism industries. The use of biometrics in security presents an opportunity to better trace criminal activities and improved efficiencies in tracking them.

Specialised security for syndicate crime prevention

Syndicate-related crimes cannot be handled in the same way as conventional criminal activity anymore. Syndicate-related activities have significantly increased since 2010. Criminal activities now need to be curtailed through highly trained tactical deployments that can deal with syndicate crime.

Crime syndicates in South Africa range from heroin and cocaine trafficking to people-smuggling, rhino poaching, and metal stripping from state power, water and transportation companies, as well as kidnappings for ransom.

Specialised security services present one of the best options for curbing syndicated crime activities.

Centralised control centres

Centralised control centres will continue to play a significant role in the monitoring of high-risk areas. As disruptive technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) emerge, centralised monitoring should be leveraged to speed up security response time.

Mobile phones for enhanced security monitoring

Mobile phones have become a fundamental tool for enhancing security. It is estimated that South Africa has just over 53 million smartphones in use. With criminal activity on the rise, it's essential to have access to information at your fingertips. Furthermore, mobile phones enable secure tracking and tracing, as well as the ability to continuously monitor facilities and assets.

It is, however, important to also ensure that mobile phones are protected from cyberattacks.

Security convergence

Integrating IT and physical security programmes is enhancing security responses. Although often overlooked, physical security is essential to preventing crime. Both individuals and organisations need to pay more attention to physical security measures, integrated with specialised IT systems.

The purpose of security convergence is to leverage information systems and security to enable physical teams to be more responsive in bridging security gaps that cannot be filled by physical security alone. Convergence in security presents an opportunity to enhance security resilience, detection, prevention, risk mitigation and response to threats. Thereby creating an overall more robust security system.

AI and machine learning

By using artificial intelligence, analytics and machine learning, security providers will be able to uncover fresh insights that would otherwise go unnoticed. AI in security continues to propel efforts to identify, predict and respond to security threats, including cybersecurity threats, effectively and efficiently with very minimal human intervention.

“By effectively leveraging a combination of these tools, among others, security providers will be able to stay current with technological innovations and respond to security threats more rapidly – be it for residential or commercial facilities,” Fitzroy concludes.

For more information contact Servest, 0860 22 55 84,,

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