Companies moving to the Cloud are revolutionizing digital transformation and rendering traditional operative methods less efficacious, if not obsolete. This trend undoubtedly experienced an acceleration with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly access and management operations suddenly needed safer methods, and globalization evidenced the need to work from anywhere at any time. However, integrating cloud security options into physical security strategies has been slower.
Artificial intelligence is changing this, and while it will influence all walks of society, it is already revolutionizing cloud physical security. It will continue to do so in the years to come. The Security Industry Association has cited AI as a predominant trend for two years running. AI is distinct from machine learning as they are different. Machine learning refers to computers that act without programming. Artificial intelligence is a machine replicating human behavior.
AI and Cloud
Information technology is based on the Cloud, an on-demand, infinitely scalable instrument. Cloud and AI development are now more intertwined than ever. They are almost a single entity.
While AI has a more extended history than the Cloud, the Cloud is used more. Many businesses moved to the Cloud during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, AI has existed for over seventy years yet needs to be understood. One thing, however, stands out: they both drive each other’s development. AI requires enormous data storage capabilities that the Cloud can readily provide. Traditional data centers are not capable of supporting AI growth. The continuing need for an increase in data storage will fuel the Cloud’s growth. The Cloud likewise needs AI for all the numerous applications available.
AI and Security
AI has slowly been making its presence felt for several decades, specifically with applications for video surveillance. As early as the 1990s, abandoned luggage and objects were identified through analytic video applications, yet there were frequent false alarms in early applications. Applications were used more frequently to find evidence after an incident. AI development has changed the focus of its use from a forensic or reactive tool to a pre-emptive and proactive tool.
A worry for some may be the feared necessity to upgrade hardware which is not necessarily viable in terms of both the investment and the time this would require. The exciting thing about AI applications is that they focus more on software than hardware and often can be integrated for use with hardware that is already installed.
The digital transformation undoubtedly accelerated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Access control and management suddenly needed safer methods. Globalization brought with it the need to be able to work 24/7. With this acceleration, security necessities evolved as well.
Revolutionary AI Security Applications
Advances in computing abilities now permit that work once done by human beings can be automated. This is particularly advantageous when dealing with labor shortages or where security is stretched. AI supplements data collection with information from other sources to identify connections and detect patterns. Not only can it determine present-day perils, but it can predict potential threats and risks.
Some of the developing uses of AI in security strategies include:
Automated access control systems are already a part of physical security strategies, but the integration of AI increases detection capabilities. For example, AI can recognize people accessing facilities not only through features but through the recognition of patterns and movements. These capabilities further eliminate the risk of false positives.
AI can detect audio indications of danger, such as breaking glass, gunshots, forcing entries. AI will send an immediate alert and can be programmed to trigger a lockdown mode.
Drones and Robots
Understaffed security teams or inadequate monitoring equipment can create quite a challenge when attempting to protect locations and people. When applied to drone and robot controls, AI can supplement human security efforts. These machines can patrol specific routes and zones to detect objects or unauthorized strangers and send alerts requesting human intervention. Together with surveillance and data collection, they increase a security presence.
Facial Recognition and Biometrics
Biometrics and facial recognition are not new to security strategies, but AI has improved performance and results. AI produces superior recognition of physical characteristics and will recognize behavioral factors like gait or particular movements. Using a contactless procedure, this information can be cross-referenced with watch lists and criminal databases. In addition, monitoring for mask-wearing or following tracing protocols becomes more manageable thanks to AI.
Wherever there are crowds, whether on busy streets, at events, or in hubs, tracking and monitoring are challenging for security personnel. AI can aid security teams by counting people, observing traffic flow, predicting potential issues, and observing and recognizing suspicious behavior patterns.
Thanks to AI, video security is more accurate and reduces the time necessary for human intervention to arrive. This translates into faster responses and improved security. AI reduces incorrectly identified items due to the use of algorithms that can differentiate between objects and people, vegetation, vehicles, animals, or others. Besides recognizing human behavior, AI-fueled video monitoring can integrate tools like a license plate reader to identify potential perpetrators entering or leaving a scene. AI can analyze video in real time and automate responses.
The Future Challenge for AI in Cloud Physical Security
Currently, AI tends to mimic humans and must be fed significant amounts of data to function. This renders AI not the most flexible of tools for the future. AI does not think by itself, nor can it modify its behavior if the environment suddenly changes as a human being might. Physical security needs are dynamic and often depend on adaptable responses. This is the next big challenge for AI development in responding to physical security challenges.