TrendIndia to see a large, broad growth in expenditures on domestic security

Published 26 January 2009

A series of terrorist attacks, culminating in the coordinated attack in Mumbai last month, convinced both government and industry in India that more security — much more security — is required to cope with mounting threats to domestic peace; business opportunities abound for companies in IT security, biometric, surveillance, detection, situational awareness, and more

With the recent terror attacks in Mumbai, security has become very important for India’s business sector. India’s Economic Times argues that the recent security lapses were more than unfortunate for India as they indicate a serious gap and sense of apathy toward the importance of the deployment of new age security systems in our nation and its economy. Ironically, the security solutions services industry in India is fast gaining traction, and is growing at an average of 20-22 percent. That number is likely to go all the way up to 35 percent over the next one year. Security is now the topmost concern for many companies. Domestic security industry, which includes man guarding, electronic security, cash in transit, and consulting, is estimated to be around Rs 10,000 crore currently. Indian security services industry is expected to reach Rs 25,000 crore by 2015, making it one of the top ten security markets in the world.

Demand for security is high from businesses which conduct direct business with the public — hotels, retail establishments, hospitals, and educational institutions. For these businesses and others, security has moved from being an administrative subject to a business continuity issue, and security requirements are being discussed at the topmost level within corporate houses. Economic Times says that the result is greater focus on security issues, a focus which is often translated into higher budgets, quicker decisions, and speedy implementation.

Now, securing premises means more than placing a few surveillance cameras and access control and tracking devices like RFIDs. The new generations of security systems are IP-enabled for interoperability and connectivity and demand a great deal of expertise and experience in deployment of IT infrastructure solutions. “India’s dominance in the IT solutions and services space can help India overcome this gap. New age security services leverage the capabilities of IT to integrate security in a truly seamless manner,” the analyst writes.

A comprehensive and well integrated solution would bring together CCTV surveillance, cutting-edge video analytics, access control, biometric solutions, RFID, perimeter detection systems, intrusion detection systems, and much more under a single command-and-control center which would intelligently interprets video and data in real time. The goal would be actionable intelligence for proactive response to avert potential threats.

Over the last five years, the manner in which security is provided to the citizens in India has changed considerably. The chief security commissioner of Western railway Lalit Kumar said they were supplementing the efforts taken by the government to provide security to rail passengers. Over the years the perception of railway passengers has changed greatly, which has enabled the authorities to provide security. “We are charting out a plan to provide security to passengers on certain identified stations. After this has been implemented, we will team up with those who will provide solutions for these measures taken,” said Kumar. Ensuring security for over 70 lakh (seventy million) passengers every day is a mammoth task. To address them, the railway authorities have hired personnel to operate machinery and technologies to frisk people and provide safety to them.

Among the technologies and approaches which will see growing demand in India in the coming years are:

Camera technology which not only captures, but also collates images. For this there is a need for high quality software and a centralized database.

The implementation of different biometric technologies — face recognition, behavioral analysis, and biometric parameters.

The sustainability and integration of different technologies. There is a need to spend more money and time on training people.

Hotels will have to find an effective, but not intrusive, ways of examining guests’ luggage. 

Identity cards would help prevent many incidents.

Intelligence plays a vital role in preventing acts of terror and disruption of law and order. There is a need for greater integration of the different levels of government responsible for fighting terrorism.

Security in residential townships and societies is also a cause for concern. While enterprises can afford to buy equipment that will provide security to people, these townships might not be able to afford it.

Not just the residential complexes, but also malls, multiplexes, and other entertainment zones have to implement various security measures.