Top 5 Security Industry Trends for 2023

What to Expect for Industrial Security Professionals, FSO’s, and Cleared Personnel

The world of industrial security is a dynamically evolving machine that never seems to rest. Between added and updated compliance requirements, emerging cybersecurity threats, and exponential advancement of technology capabilities, Facility Security Officers (FSOs) and their teams of cleared personnel can always expect that change will always be on the horizon.

As we enter the new year, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve on security industry trends like regulatory updates, cybersecurity predictions, and security and infrastructure technology developments. Failure to do so could put defense contractors and security professionals at risk of noncompliance while opening them up to a wide range of security vulnerabilities. They could also miss out on digital transformation opportunities to improve productivity, security, and cross-functional collaboration — ultimately optimizing the entire operation.      

With the consequences laid out, here are five major security industry trends we expect in 2023 for FSOs and cleared personnel:

1. Modernizing Industrial Security Digital Assets

First and foremost, we expect significant digital transformations in the defense industry. The release of Microsoft 365 Government Community Cloud High (GCC High) just a few years back changed the way Department of Defense (DoD) contractors could access applications and resources. Industrial security professionals have and will continue their efforts to migrate data into a compliant, cloud-based, or hybrid system.

Additionally, to adapt to labor shortages for physical security positions, we expect a rise in automation and intelligent technology within facilities. For example, Internet of Things (IoT) devices can help FSOs collect premise and activity data, support surveillance efforts, and monitor access control systems. 

On top of that, artificial intelligence (AI) tools powered by machine learning (ML) technology are prominent in data analysis to identify security anomalies or potential threats to a cleared facility. ML programs are becoming more sophisticated daily and developing additional use cases within the industrial security world.    

2. Continuing the Focus on Cybersecurity

Industrial security is no longer just about protecting facilities or physical assets. There are emerging cybersecurity trends for 2023, including threat actors focusing on compromising cloud security vulnerabilities and the broader attack surface caused by increased IoT devices installed in cleared facilities.   
We also expect to see more and more insider attacks from within contractor organizations. It’s why the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published SP 800-207, the framework for deploying Zero Trust Architecture to account for perimeter-less networks and insider threats. Ultimately, these trends will further substantiate the FSO’s role in managing cybersecurity functions.

3. Adjusting to Legacy System Sunsetting 

A significant change for defense contractors was the announcement in 2020 that the Defense Information System for Security (DISS) would phase out for the National Background Investigation Services (NBIS) database. This meant that contractors could manage background checks, personnel vetting, adjudication cases, and employee screening on one centralized system that offers better security, processing speeds, and user experiences.  

The DISS legacy system expects to be entirely decommissioned by the end of this year (2023). That begs the question, what other legacy systems could we see “get the boot” from DoD, the Defense Counter and Security Agency (DISA), and other government agencies?

4. Managing New Compliance Requirements for Cleared Personnel

Whether it’s for cybersecurity management, new reporting guidance, or handling cleared personnel, compliance changes create enormous headaches for FSOs and defense contractors. Even though we know new ones will either become announced or take effect every year, they still add an undesired challenge, even as we start 2023. 

Some of these new changes include the highly-likely announcement that civilian contractors will get held to the same standard as DoD contractors and must adhere to the NIST 800-171 when handling controlled unclassified information (CUI). The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program is also likely to see some adjustments to who falls under its umbrella as it simultaneously rolls out its new assessment process for the 2023 first quarter.   

Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expects to release new requirements for handling CUI and reporting security incidents. These adjustments and the many more in the pipeline will continue forcing FSOs to dedicate valuable time and resources toward compliance management in 2023.    

5. Removing Silos Between IT, Cybersecurity, and Industrial Security  

Last but certainly not least, there’s the trend of contractors boosting synergy between all departments through shared objectives, centralized database systems, and increased collaboration. Based on cybersecurity predictions and technology changes, it’s clear that industrial security professionals must work closely with other organizational functions.

IT support teams are essential for FSOs to execute their digital transformation strategies by implementing and managing the new cloud infrastructure, IoT devices, and AI analytics tools. FSOs also must work closely with the cybersecurity teams to ensure compliance and maintain the same levels of security hygiene in their data, applications, and network as they do in the facility.

Stay Ahead of the Emerging Trends with MathCraft

While nearly all industries must adapt to significant trends year-to-year, none have more volatility than industrial security professionals and FSOs. The Mathcraft Security Technologies product line can help simplify the process of navigating all the significant changes, so you can take advantage of crucial opportunities and stay in line with requirements. 
Contact us today to learn more about how our industrial security management software suite helps FSOs automate security processes, manage sensitive data, and oversee personnel and compliance requirements across all aspects of their facility-security operations.