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SpirE-Journal 2005 Q4

The Security Industry Today And Tomorrow: An Asia Pacific Perspective

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The Security Industry Today And Tomorrow: An Asia Pacific Perspective

From low-intensity conflicts in Southern Thailand and the Southern Philippines, to bombings in London and the Beslan hostage tragedy in Russia – sudden crises are making governments and private companies redefine “security” in their decision-making processes. The integration of security processes across multiple dimensions of social life – business, financial, key publicinfrastructure, schools, homes, domestic and international travel – is giving rise to a new environment of pervasive and interconnected security. Biometric and Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) technologies promise to make possible pervasive tracking to ensure the safety of both individuals and items of merchandise across multiple environments. What kinds of opportunities will this create for security system vendors? By evaluating the latest developments in the security systems market, this article argues that vendors will increasingly have to integrate security services across different customer segments – home consumers, employers, schools and government – to compete in the future.

Residential Security

Advanced security technologies are no longer confined to the government and corporate sectors. With greater awareness of security issues such as terrorism, sophisticated security features in high-end residential projects are exciting greater interest among middle-class consumers.

Internet-based Surveillance Of Homes:Digital Close-Circuit Television (CCTV) systems which make feed accessible via the Internet are already penetrating the residential space. The Japanese market for Internet Portal (IP) real-time monitoring is forecasted to surge to about US$ 273 million in 2005.Smart homes in Malaysia’s administrative city of Putrajaya, due for completion in 2010, will offer full system integration of security services, spanning from manipulating building access controls to monitoring surveillance via the Internet. The technology for IP real-time monitoring systems is still immature. In future,consumers will expect more stable, user friendly and integrated solutions on more advanced platforms like 3G.

Residential Access Control: Condominiums such as “The Light at Cairnhill” in Singapore uses residents’ fingerprints as “keys” to access various areas within the residential compound, such as the gym, lift lobby and the apartments. Projects like this typify the current trend of high-end residential developments offering biometric-based access control. But modern security encompasses more than just access control systems and surveillance. Analysis Of Surveillance Feed is where much of the most exciting new development is taking place and where system vendors will need to compete for differentiating advantages. Applications that analyze digital surveillance for facial or movement cues, which may portend criminal behavior, will be a key arena for future development. For example, IPSOTEK’s system comes with a sophisticated image analysis program, in which CCTV cameras can detect unusual activity by checking for behavioral patterns, which the computer is programed to be recognized. When any of the programed behaviors is detected, the computer alerts CCTV operators, staff or management to the potential threat using sound and visuals. South Korea offers an example of this kind of technology in action. South Korean subscribers are now able to view real-time images of their homes on their cell phones via a web cam connected to a personal computer. A text message will be sent in cases of intrusion into the home. On the other hand, advanced security features previously confined to banks and key public infrastructure are becoming more pervasive in a wider array of public facilities.

Security In The School

In the post-Beslan era, governments world-wide are paying greater attention to security in schools as a matter of great political sensitivity. This is likely to fuel new investment in security systems on school grounds, with resource-rich fee-charging private schools in affluent cities likely to lead the way.To minimize incidents of children going missing, primary students in the Chinese city of Ningbo, a major city in affluent Zhejiang province, can now swipe cards over IC card machines at the school gates called “net police”. Japanese students have RFID tags placed in backpacks which beam messages to nearby offices to register their attendance.

Security In Public Areas

Governments which invest heavily in public surveillance systems in high-traffic zones, such as the Department of Home Affairs in the United Kingdom, have been attracting much interest and emulation.Many of the over 100,000 Internet bars in China are now installed with real-time surveillance systems to prevent unwholesome activities and underage patrons. Shanghai has announced it will install more than 200,000 surveillancecameras by 2010 at all public places, though this has created public concerns over privacy. Even biometric technology is making an impact in public facilities. Cash withdrawal from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) was revolutionized when Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in Japan installed biometric-based ATMs at 267 outlets in October 2004, to verify the identities of users by scanning their palm vein patterns.

Security In The Work Place

Progressive employers have always deployed security systems to protect the security of their employees and assets, in response to incidents of criminal violence and intellectual property theft in the work-place. What is new is the increasing use of digital and biometric technologies to do so. For example, GAIL in New Delhi has installed 14 iris readers across various floors to control access for both employees and outsiders at sensitive zones. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) appointed Tata Honeywell in 2004 to develop automation and software solutions for its integrated access control system, including technologies such as smart card and biometrics with unique features to limit access.

Critical Supply Chains

Our daily supplies of Fast Moving Consuming Goods (FMCGs) and perishable foods are highly reliant on efficient and secure supply chains. In the anti-terrorism and “food security” policies of national governments, not only must goods be delivered on time but at minimal risk of contamination and sabotage. The enactment of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code from July 2004 has prompted national governments to step up security measures, so as to ensure that all ships leaving for other international ports do not face sanctions, including denial of entry.

 As a result, Sri Lanka’s Colombo seaport cited a possible deployment of radiation detection equipment to inspect shipping containers, under a new agreement with the United States concluded in September 2004.

RFID technology is set to revolutionize security applications. Major retailers like Target and Wal-Mart ar

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