The golden word: Security

The golden word: Security

Security has become the most used and abused word of our time. Both physical and virtual security matters a lot to individuals, SME’s and corporations.

Security had, in fact, been one of the most important issues of humanity since the dawn of time. The first major technological breakthrough to security technologies was fire, but today we have come a long way from that. There are specialized firms for every type of security and they are a major source of employment in Turkey. There are over 1,300 private security firms in Turkey. There are more than 65,000 places that have a license to hire security and there are 1.14 million people working in the security industry. These numbers are only about physical security; if you add virtual security experts, it would be around 1 or 2 percent higher.

However, the physical side of security is becoming one of the heaviest users of technology as well. We see high resolution 360-degree cameras and x-ray equipment everywhere. Security firms are trying to manage their human resources’ vulnerabilities with high-end technologies. A few weeks ago, I had the chance to talk with Securitas Country Manager Murat Kösereisoğlu about the security industry. He said Securitas is employing technology wherever possible, as it is more effective and requires less human capital. On their website, it says “With remote video solutions we bring you peace of mind. Digital cameras connected to intelligent software enable our operators to detect trouble before it even happens.”

Detecting trouble before it ever happens is kind of futuristic and also has a bad ring to it, especially after millions watched Minority Report based on the short story by Phillip K. Dick, in which the government puts in place a security system where crimes are punished before they happen. I would also think the same, but Kösereisoğlu assured that they train the security officers with the utmost care to do their job as seamlessly as possible. He also underlined the importance of security software, saying that if your software is good, you can run your tasks much more efficiently with less human resources, covering a bigger area.

The latest acquisition by Securitas Global, in which Securitas Belgium acquired SAIT for 13 million euros, backs his claims. SAIT is operating in the areas of wireless networks, physical security solutions and data integrity. The company focuses on delivering advanced technological security solutions supported by critical and secure networks in customer segments such as industry, public transport, government, police, defense, maritime, telecom and cities.

The other dimension of technology and security is big data. Art Coveillo recently wrote in his Guardian blog entry entitled “How technology is changing the way we think about technology” that by 2020, analysts predict that as many as 200bn objects will be connected to the Internet, taking in and broadcasting data at an amazing clip. Extracting meaning from that extraordinary amount of data could lower crime, cut inventory, reduce road accidents, save energy, eliminate waste… The list goes on. But, as new tools and techniques come to the fore in order to gain value from all this data, we must recognize that our adversaries are engaged in this same race against time. As a result, the odds against security professionals are rising in proportion to the amazing opportunity we have before us.

This is the main reason why governments are crazy about establishing control over social media and all types of communication. They are trying to equalize the odds that big data changed against big establishments. However, I believe the current methodologies governments are pursuing are not really doing the trick.

I believe governments, nongovernmental organizations, citizens and companies like Securitas must all come together and discuss how to enable security without abandoning of freedoms.