The Future of Security

How Technology will Impact the Future of Security

By Chris Copenhaver, Protos Labs Leadership


The physical security industry is composed of some of the most essential and enduring services, especially as it pertains to security officers. The security industry has survived numerous disruptions, making it particularly interesting to consider from a technology perspective. As we look ahead to the future of security, we can expect that many of the most pivotal security technology advances are yet to come – but also not that far into the future.

First, it’s important to understand the evolution of security technology

For over a hundred years, handwritten reports from security officers were the best option for recording and tracking incidents over time. Modern pens may not be technology in the sense we think of it today, but even these simple items revolutionized the world at the time of their invention. They solved the problem of pencil markings fading over time, making them less practical for long-term documentation. Also, other ink-based writing tools were not as convenient to transport, meaning that report writing relied more on memory, which was a challenge, especially when there were multiple incidents per shift.

Computers (and then tablets) were also huge steps forward, but these devices didn’t improve security program reporting beyond making reports more legible and easier to store digitally. A bigger milestone came with the increasingly widespread use of internet-connected smartphones, enabling instant communication with all necessary stakeholders from a portable device that many people already own.

Today, with the touch of a button, security professionals are uploading detailed incident reports with images in real-time. The appropriate contacts – such as the security company, manager and client – can be notified instantly. Taking this another step further, the data is analyzed, trends are identified and future predictions are formed. This means that security can better prepare for risks and trends unique to each region, individual site’s location, industry and more.

With just this one example – moving from paper and pencil to computers and internet-connected smartphones – we can see how security service companies are already responding to, and expanding upon, other technological advancements. Over time, these advancements have accelerated rapid growth in the industry and the role of security has been elevated as a result.

In my experience as an entrepreneur in the security guard industry

I’ve found that where the internet leads, the security industry has followed by harnessing and expanding upon other technological advances. One of my favorite books, The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future by Steve Case (Cofounder of AOL), sparked my thoughts on this connection. In his book, Case lays out a roadmap for the future and how technology, especially the internet, will change everything. He defines how, in three waves – Foundation, Revolution and Integration – technology has been evolving and what this means for our future.

Case’s focus was the internet rather than security, so this series will build on his foundation while sharing the knowledge I’ve gained as an entrepreneur in the security space. Examining where we started, understanding where we are now and analyzing where we are heading will help security leaders make informed decisions in an increasingly disruptive future. The same waves Case outlined are rolling through our industry and will continue to propel it forward. By examining these waves more deeply from a security perspective, my hope is that we can position ourselves as an industry to effectively embrace what the future has to offer.

In many ways, the internet as a driver of the security industry has led to a world of improvements – we have more data than ever before and it’s more accessible than many could have dreamed. In other ways though, it poses new challenges as the lines between physical and cybersecurity blur with the Internet of Things (IoT) and data privacy as a growing concern. The upcoming third wave will require increasing partnerships between organizations within security to deliver more holistic and customizable solutions in an environment where interconnectivity is an expectation rather than a bonus.

Our webinar covers this third wave in more detail. Watch the recording now: The Future of Security Technology: What’s in Store for Loss Prevention?


Chris Copenhaver Headshot, Protos Security, Team Protos

Chris is currently part of the Protos Labs leadership team and is one of the Cofounders of Protos. He is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute with a BA in Economics and Business. Chris’ prior experience includes providing key information to high-level decision-makers in the technology and land building development industries.

Chris Copenhaver

Cofounder & Protos Labs Leadership