Earlier on this year the Government released its report into Future Technology Trends in Security. The report was looking at what the direction of technological and scientific developments could mean for security over the next decade and it’s certainly interesting reading.  It acknowledges that technology is a double-edged sword. Its existence does create new dangers, enabling threats to emerge quickly and unexpectedly. But its rapid evolution is also providing us with many ways to be ready to address and deal with those, and other, threats more effectively. ‘Spotting the needle in the haystack’ The sheer volume of data being generated globally is overwhelming. Finding ways to process and make effective use of it seems almost unimaginable. And yet the development of data science tools is well underway, creating the ability to search though large unstructured volumes of data and to vastly improve its analysis. Effectively, it has the potential to ‘spot the needle in the haystack’, helping threats to be detected earlier and enabling timely interventions to be made. One of the technological developments the report refers to is the significant progress in biometric technology. When we talk about biometrics, we tend to think of using biological features like fingerprints or iris and voice recognition but, as the report highlights, virtually every aspect of people’s physiology could eventually be used as bio-signatures. That could include things like vein patterns and our unique heart and pulse rates, even brain waves, and could continue to transform the way security systems are developed. At the same time, surveillance and counter-surveillance opportunities are increasing rapidly thanks to converging sensor and detection technology. Technologies like CCTV cameras, motion detectors and thermal imaging devices all have the potential to be linked up with connected sensors that could be embedded in numerous objects thanks to the Internet of Things. The combination of biometric identity security screening solutions with sensor technology could have considerable implications, from enabling border control with biometric passports to better securing businesses and busy public places. For example, anticipate more opportunities for CCTV systems to be combined with facial recognition technology using multiple images and various angles. And machine learning technologies are moving towards having the potential to identify suspicious behaviour even within densely packed crowds. Clearly, all this technology must comply with legal constraints and ethical, privacy and civil liberties issues. Ensuring technology can be used in a way that makes the most of the potential for holistic detection and identification while also complying with privacy and data sharing issues will be challenging but essential. The security tech of the future… The full report is very detailed and covers many areas. Some of them feel pretty ‘way-out’. If you were a fan of the BBC show “Years and Years” you may be intrigued to discover the report has a section devoted to transhumanism – a subject that was featured on the show (although the report doesn’t seem entirely clear on whether we’ll reach the point when we can download the entire content of our brains and upload it all to the cloud while doing away with the physical version of ourselves).  But then again, who’d have thought we’d ever be at the point where robot police become a reality – and yet out on the streets of Dubai, they are actually already using them… If you’d like to see what some of the technology of the future could look like, you’ll find more information here about the annual Consumer Electronics Show.  Held in Las Vegas at the start of this year, technology manufacturers from around the world showcased many of the next generation devices and systems including security related tech. You’ll also find some of the home security innovations featured in the show in this article by IFSEC Global – many of which might well be options for businesses in the future too. If you have any security queries, please do get in touch with us (although sadly we are unable to offer robot security officers for businesses just yet).