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1.27.21 – SSN – SAN ANTONIO, TX


Businesses are experiencing a 20 percent increase in physical security incidents since the start of the pandemic, with another one-third anticipating even more activity in 2021, according to a new report from Pro-Vigil, a provider of remote video monitoring, management and crime deterrence solutions.

The research report indicates that a significant number of companies have updated their security strategies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pro-Vigil Founder Jeremy White told Security Systems News that 2020 changed the way people think about physical security. “The COVID-19 pandemic introduced an onslaught of unique security challenges that businesses were not expecting or prepared for – protecting unoccupied properties and dealing with security guard absenteeism due to virus exposure, for example,” he explained. “Couple this with the common challenges associated with using security guards that our survey uncovered, and there’s never been a better time to evolve physical security strategies to include advanced video surveillance systems, which can do as much, and even more, than security guards.”

Jeremy White

Pro-Vigil polled 124 business operations leaders across a variety of commercial vertical markets to gain an understanding of how the pandemic has impacted their security strategies, including the use of security guards and video monitoring systems.

Interestingly, nearly half of respondents use modern digital video systems that include artificial intelligence (AI) for object recognition.

“This is a big deal because the potential for how AI could impact physical security this year is tremendous, and companies need to adopt the technology now,” White said. “With AI becoming smarter every day, we’re on the verge of moving from mere object recognition, to predictive deterrence – determining when a crime is likely to happen and taking immediate action to prevent it.”

White also pointed out that the survey found that nearly 45 percent of respondents use digital video for applications beyond security – monitoring worksite conditions and foot traffic through the business, for example. “One way our customers are leveraging their video surveillance systems to better their business is by incorporating our Social Distancing AI Suite to promote compliance with CDC COVID-19 prevention guidelines, including social distancing, face-mask usage and occupancy limits,” he explained. “This is just one of many ways video surveillance systems can be used to improve businesses operations.”

Key findings from the survey include:

The Impact of COVID-19 on Physical Security

  • Nearly one-in-five respondents said they saw an increase in physical security incidents since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Nearly one-third of respondents indicated they believe they will see an increase in physical security incidents in 2021.
  • More than 40% of respondents said they made changes to their security strategy since the start of the pandemic.
  • More than half of the 40% indicated they installed new video cameras, which emerged as the most common way in which respondents strengthened their security posture going into 2021.

Perceptions and Use of Security Guards

  • Nearly 24% of survey respondents indicated they used security guards in their business. Of those respondents:
  • 48% indicated they had experienced absenteeism with security guards.
  • 44% said their guards failed to stop a security incident.
  • 12% indicated a security guard has caused a problem with an employee or customer.
  • For those who indicated they do not use security guards, a majority (nearly 82%) indicated they weren’t needed, while approximately 10% said they are too expensive.

Trends in Video

  • Nearly 80% of respondents said they use video surveillance in their workplace. Just over half of those use remote video monitoring services.
  • Nearly half of respondents use modern digital video systems that include artificial intelligence (AI) for object recognition.
  • Nearly 45% of respondents indicated they use digital video for applications beyond security (for example, monitoring worksite conditions, employees and foot traffic through the business).

To download Pro-Vigil’s research report, “The State of Physical Security Entering 2021,” please click here.