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Top 4 Physical Security Predictions for 2023

Some of 2022’s hallmarks include record-high inflation, widespread permanent adoption of hybrid work, and quiet quitting. With these shake-ups happening in the workplace, the security landscape is changing. According to experts, physical security is “mission critical.”

What security trends does 2023 hold? Here are our top predictions.

1. Businesses Will Continue Investing in Security Despite the Economy

Last year, we predicted that the Great Resignation would force organizations to amp up security. There were indeed more threats in 2022, but employee turnover wasn’t the only reason. The top five workplace security threats detected were:

  • Workplace violence
  • Crime/theft
  • Natural disasters
  • Biosecurity
  • The push to move employees completely remote 

The upcoming year will bring more of the same, with many of those threats coming from inside.


Even in a worsening economy, we don’t expect that to stop organizations from investing in security technology, both physical and digital. In fact, many won’t have a choice — which brings us to our next prediction.

2. Legislation Will Require Increased Security Measures

We predict that legislation — whether at the local, state, or national level — will drive organizations to strengthen security measures to protect their keys, stakeholders, and data.

In 2022, for example, Florida passed Miya’s Law, which requires residential landlords to maintain a key logs for all units and establish protocols for issuing, returning, and storing keys. We anticipate that similar legislation will follow in other states.

At the national level, the FTC has strengthened its Safeguards Rule, which applies to any organization that’s involved in activity considered “financial in nature.” Under the new rule, organizations will be required to meet certain requirements for securing nonpublic personal customer information. To protect physical copies of data, we predict some organizations will opt to use an electronic key control system to secure keys to file rooms, filing cabinets, and other storage areas.

What Types of Businesses Need to Comply With the Safeguards Rule?

  • Lenders
  • Auto dealerships
  • Retailers with their own credit cards
  • Finance companies
  • Non-federally insured credit unions

Note: This is not a comprehensive list. 
Source: Duo

Of course, like any other technology tools, electronic key control systems must meet the FTC’s requirements. That means making sure the system meets the latest security standards, using multifactor authentication, and maintaining a log of authorized users’ activity when they access customer information.

3. Businesses Will Seek Tools to Centralize Operations

In the coming year, organizations will look for ways to centralize and secure the way they handle keys. Maybe it’s an auto dealership with sales and service departments, a property management company overseeing multiple properties, a university campus spread out across thousands of acres, or a corporation with employees working from home. No matter the type of organization, leaders will look for ways to enforce consistent procedures, reduce miscommunications, avoid missing or lost keys and assets, and see user activity at a glance.  

With the Internet of Things, people are used to having data on demand across multiple systems or devices. To achieve that level of connectedness with key control, electronic key control users will network system locations and take advantage of remote system access software. And as we predicted in 2022, they’ll take key control on the go through mobile apps.

4. Smart Locks Will Become More Common, But Traditional Locks Aren’t Going Anywhere

In our last set of predictions, we predicted that digital locks (also called smart locks or electronic locks) will change traditional key control. In 2023, we expect to see more organizations — especially multifamily properties, schools, and hospitals — swapping out their traditional locks for access control systems that rely on digital locks. But just as we said a year ago, we don’t anticipate traditional metal keys or electronic key control systems will go away anytime soon.

Not all organizations have the budget to implement electronic locks on every single door, especially if it requires retrofitting aging facilities. Even if they do, many facilities will still have some traditional locks, whether for common areas, filing cabinets, office doors, or supply closets. Others will keep spare keys on hand in case the smart locks malfunction.

How Should You Respond?

Although we can make educated guesses about what the year ahead holds, the past few years have taught us to always expect the unexpected. Prepare your business by investing in security and fine-tuning your operations. Whether you’re considering implementing new tools or cutting existing ones, make sure you’ll have the resources you need to meet your organization’s goals, compliance requirements, and budget.

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