Physical security: picking up the pieces

Businesses need to be ready to pick up where they left off when it comes to enhancing physical security measures in the wake of COVID-19.

By Gregory Hale September 30, 2020

In the wake of COVID-19, there is a global mish-mash of sorts hitting the industry these days as some countries are allowing sectors to start operating again and others going back to a more restrictive environment.

Who is right and who is wrong doesn’t really matter, but in the end, businesses need to be ready to pick up where they left off when it comes to enhancing physical security measures.

“Everyone talks about the high costs of cybersecurity meant to be reaching $6 trillion a year in costs globally for 2021,” said Jeremy Kimber, director video offering management at Honeywell. “There are reports that potentially up to 15% of cyber breaches are caused by breaches of the physical security system. So, cyber security of the physical access control and video systems is increasingly critical. The last thing you want to do as an end user or as an installer is get caught with the type of cost that are starting to come through with cyber breaches.”

Along those lines, with the industry getting more accustomed to the COVID-19 infused economy, Honeywell business leaders talked during a virtual event Wednesday about six outlooks companies need to look at:

  1. Rapid changes in utilization
  2. Upsurge in remote monitoring
  3. Increasing need to protect assets
  4. Doing more with less staff
  5. More complex compliance
  6. New definition of safe

One of new outlooks is with rapid changes in utilization.

Simpler and easier security methods

“When we hear about getting back to work, it is not exactly getting back to work, it getting back to work and not getting back to work; it is the constant fluctuation whether it is COVID-related or not,” said Rick Koscinski, North America general manager Honeywell Commercial Security. “It creates is a lot of confusion. What we have been working toward is working with third parties and more integration with our own legacy systems to make things easier and simpler to handle the unknown.”

There has also been an upswing in remote monitoring.

“Remote monitoring is more important now than ever,” Koscinski said. “We need the ability to see who, what, where and when, not to mention when we are not getting back to work. There is the same amount of priority importance with remote monitoring.”

They are also seeing an increase in the need to protect assets.

“Everyone takes for granted you are pretty well protected, but do we also have the reassurance we have access to the information about the protection we are aiming to deliver,” said Frederic Haegeman, European business leader for Honeywell. “Based on what we are trying to protect, can we get the analytics to ensure we are providing the right protection. On one hand, there is high demand for having good analysis and reassurance that the protection is out there. Whether we like it or not, the results can also show if we can do more with less staff. So, any staff in charge of facilities and security, do they have the right tools to supervise and deliver the right analytics? Will the analytics allow the facility manager or business owners to get into the compliance aspect?”

Complex compliance and security guidelines

In the wake of the changing global economic environment, the industry is seeing more complex compliance.

“Since navigating the new normal and re-opening, an enterprise of any size also needs to understand the rapidly changing guidelines and regulations that often change on a moment’s notice,” said Fahmi Jabri, general manager Middle East Turkey and Africa security business for Honeywell.

That also can lead to a new definition of safe really means.

“The word safe is now an evolving definition,” Jabri said. “Having the right integrated security solution in place could be key to creating a healthy environment for buildings. Access control is gaining a new purpose now, not only from a security perspective, but also helping curb the spread of pathogens.”

To move forward and help companies work within this rapidly changing environment, businesses need to be prepared to implement more advanced security measures into their buildings as workers look to return in any capacity.

Gregory Hale is the editor and founder of Industrial Safety and Security Source (, a CFE Media content partner. This article originally appeared on ISSSource’s website.

Original content can be found at

Author Bio: Gregory Hale is the editor and founder of Industrial Safety and Security Source (, a news and information website covering safety and security issues in the manufacturing automation sector.