7 emerging trends to watch for in today’s GSOCs

Aug. 28, 2020
GSOCs must leverage the power of analytics, big data and AI translate information into easy-to-digest content

Over the last several years, the nature of the global security operations center (GSOC) has changed. Hollywood often vacillates between futuristic operations centers with on-demand touch panel technology and holographic elements that would make Captain Kirk jealous and the dark, dingy CCTV monitoring security guard who is only marginally interested in what’s happening on those screens.

But the GSOC of today and tomorrow hovers somewhere in between, harnessing the power of video with forward-thinking technology that delivers actionable insights and gives operators and business leaders a front seat for incident management and response. As we try to outline the future of the operations center, we see the following trends making an impact: 

Streamlined Data Management

A singular piece of the puzzle that drives the ability for GSOC operators and leaders to make critical decisions rests in one term: data management. Any addition of intelligent sensors and systems to an organization's security solution is likely to generate an influx of information, which is arguably one of the most critical components of a GSOC — when it's properly managed. An increased amount of data proliferating a control room is exceptionally beneficial, as it provides operators with enhanced situational awareness and enables them to make more informed decisions. In order to become more predictive and preventative with security, GSOCs must leverage the power of analytics, big data, and artificial intelligence (AI) to turn an overwhelming amount of information into easy-to-digest content and necessary action. One of the biggest trends today is deciding how to do this based on the goals of an organization as they design and implement a GSOC to meet their needs (and use data effectively to make decisions).

The Convergence of IT and Physical Security

Gone are the days when taking a siloed approach to security was the status quo. The wall between cyber and physical security has begun to come down, as stakeholders realize the need for collaboration to protect the entire enterprise. Visualization platforms in command centers, such as video walls, will take advantage of the growing and valuable network architecture, resulting in less hardware, more redundancy, and more reliability.

Additionally, the two departments are beginning to align their missions and strategy for protecting the overall safety and security of the organization, resulting in a more cohesive approach to decision-making on investments and processes for establishing protocols to achieve this goal. This comes with more of a shared approach to budgeting, as well, as some GSOCs are being established to incorporate the added oversight of cyber threats in addition to physical security threats that permeate the risk-based approach of an organization. The two departments, in turn, look to each other to work cohesively toward a common goal.

Rise of the Integrated GSOC

GSOCs today combine a number of security components, such as video, audio, video management, access control, intrusion, and more. But as end users demand an emphasis on the full umbrella of security rather than small silos, there’s a trend toward facilities wanting to include additional pieces, such as risk and threat assessment, employee travel, and social media monitoring. Streaming external information, such as the latest weather reports for weather-related incidents, or news channels for event management, can provide critical information not otherwise made available through the incoming traditional security data. Modern GSOCs must create an avenue by which to gather and use this information as it relates to emerging threats.


The security industry is rife with service-based models of business for anything from video to video management to access control. So why not GSOCs? With an eye on incorporating a GSOC into the overall security plan of an organization, companies are starting to emerge that utilize tools and analytics methods to help guide decision-makers in mitigating threats before they arise — all remotely. This trend addresses the challenge of investment in the technologies traditionally associated with a GSOC, bringing the idea of 24/7 monitoring into reach for a number of companies that otherwise would not be able to provide such oversight.

Remote GSOC Capabilities

When an emergency arises or an ongoing threat is being monitored, a number of stakeholders become involved in the process and decision-making for an organization. In some GSOCs, there lacks space for these stakeholders to come together and share relevant information and address incoming data points. That’s why the ability to remotely access information from the main GSOC to a neighboring conference room-turned-war-room is imperative. These spaces are an essential part of an organization’s overall security plan, allowing for a collaborative space to receive critical information in real-time. However, this function isn’t limited to an adjacent room. Modern enterprises are realizing the importance of being able to set up remote war rooms even from a trailer parked near a large-scale event equipped with real-time conferencing, video walls, the ability to display incoming relevant data points, and much, much more. 

Actionable Intelligence

Operators are tasked with sifting through the footage and material from incoming security-related data, working around the clock to recognize potential threats or anomalies. But in so many cases, there just aren't enough human eyes available for organizations to dedicate to this overwhelming responsibility; one that may seem impossible to fully maintain. That's where AI comes in to help augment the abilities of operators to identify potential issues. Solutions that utilize AI can learn the difference between normal movement patterns and abnormal exception events in real-time.

This then saves operators time and effort by only displaying the relevant video data that requires processing for increased situational awareness. This is especially critical for GSOCs that monitor a large number of video surveillance cameras at the same time, necessitating the ability for technology to identify anomalies and stream that information to the operator for decision-making.

Open Lines of Communications with First Responders

When responding to a large-scale threat, first responders rely on the information. Whether it’s eye witness accounts or streaming video or data derived from mobile devices and/or social media feeds, the job of first responders is to find out as much information possible about a threat, eliminate the threat, and address the ongoing risk from which it stemmed. Taking the middleman out of the equation and allowing first responders a front-row seat into an organization’s GSOC is a streamlined way to ensure the right information is getting to the right people in the event of an incident. Communications with these entities must include the ability to send a shared perspective of real-time content about a situation from within the four walls of the GSOC and beyond to first responders and stakeholders, no matter where they may be, to make informed decisions and implement responses.

The overall goals of control room design are bringing together systems that provide improved managerial oversight, increased response time, and better decision-making. This is done through continued dialogue with the customer and the forward-thinking nature of today’s modern organizations, which will continue to implement the aforementioned trends moving forward. The GSOC of tomorrow utilizes a number of data-driven tools and information to paint a common operational picture that takes response from reactive to proactive and allows businesses to stay ahead of the curve.

About the author: Dan Gundry is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Vistacom.