5 Trends to Look Out for in 2020

The start of a new decade is the opportune time for reflection and prediction. This month, we sat down with our Director of Training Angus Darroch-Warren to discuss what he thinks is to come in an increasingly complicated landscape.

1. What would you like to see security professionals giving more attention to in 2020?

Difficult question! The remit of security professionals is so varied across sectors and organisations, that it is problematic to drill down to one particular area. The constantly changing threat landscape means that security professionals need to be fully aware of the range of threats that may impact on their organisation or clients. While there is a tendency to focus on technologies and their uses to enhance security or make it ‘easier’, let’s get the basics right first: select the right kit based on the development of realistic operational requirements, and make sure staff are properly trained and updated on security protocols, because, as the old cliché goes you are only as strong as your weakest link.


2. What impact will initiatives such as CTSP have on the sector? 

Closely linked to the external image of professionalism is the security industry’s growing expectation that practitioners formally demonstrate and prove their skills and experience through trusted certification. The Certified Technical Security Professional (CTSP) is a great example of how the technical security sector is moving through the professionalisation process. Having access to a register of suitably trained, qualified and vetted individuals can only benefit the end-user, by mitigating the risk of ‘rogue’ personnel.

Similarly, the Register of Chartered Security Professionals (RCSyP) provides the ‘gold standard’ in demonstrating standards of competence in security practice. Both registers require compliance with Codes of Conduct, Disciplinary Codes and the requirement to complete Continuous Professional Development each year. While these initiatives are aimed at the individual, other standards and certifications are directed at organisations, such as BRE Global’s SABRE security risk management standard or the police certification scheme, Secured Environments.

Whilst some may say these types of schemes are not required, they are good benchmarks for understanding an organisation’s security posture.


3. What technologies do you see as having the biggest impact on the security industry in 2020? 

Paradoxically, advances in cutting-edge technology both pose a greater threat to security but also provide greater tools for defence. The increase in cyber-attacks will require countermeasures, notably encryption passwordless authentication, to develop quickly to meet evolving threats. Recent attacks, such as that against Travelex, show how organisations are vulnerable to ransomware attacks with devastating consequences and will need to treat these cyber threats just as seriously as physical ones.

The countermeasures are not without controversy though; facial recognition technologies are proving contentious, with concerns over privacy and overly intrusive surveillance. However advocates state that this type of technology will have benefits that far outweigh concerns of privacy. With many law enforcement agencies are starting to implement the technologies, the biggest hurdle will be to overcome the privacy arguments and ensure the accuracy of the systems.


4. How will training change in 2020? Will we see more people moving to online courses and if so why?

Traditional classroom training will always have a place in the development of security professional, however, distance learning, blended learning and online training courses all provide diversity of delivery.

Training needs to meet the demands and needs of its students whilst being accessible in a world that has become ‘mobile’. Being able to access training materials on smartphones and e-readers is not just preferable, it’s expected.

Learners are looking to maximise opportunities for personal development, the question is: ‘What do I need?’. If there is merely a desire to learn something about a specific topic or amass CPD points for membership of a professional association, then short, bitesize courses may fit the bill. However, accredited courses, with a formal assessment, demonstrate the learner has studied and met the necessary learning objectives.

So it’s a question of doing your research and choosing a course from a bona fide company with a proved track record. Spend your money wisely!


5. Will 2020 be a landmark year in the professionalism of the security industry? If so, why? If not why not?

The professionalisation of the security sector is an ongoing process and one that will never end! It is all too easy for the cliché of ‘burly bouncers’ and draconian surveillance measures to discolour public perceptions and trust in our industry.

If we look at what makes a profession, Freidson (1994) contends that professionals are experts, indeed ‘profession’ as opposed to ‘amateur’ connotes not only earning a living by one’s work, but also superior skilfulness or expertise at doing a professional job. Taking this into account, one could say that the security sector has these basic criteria and manifests other traits of a profession. The question is whether the public can see past the gates, guards and CCTV cameras and understand the ‘superior skilfulness’ that is displayed by security professionals, with experience and learning that matches those of teachers, accountants and HR practitioners.



– Angus Darroch-Warren, Director of Training Linx International Group

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