Security Screening Market

The security screening market is estimated to be worth USD 7.5 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 10.1 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 6.3 %. The global increase in terrorist attacks and illegal immigration, public gatherings fuel demand for security enhancement solutions and surge in demand for biometrics solutions in the private sector are some of the prominent factors for the growth of the security screening market globally.

Security Screening Market Dynamics

Driver: Global increase in terrorist attacks and illegal immigration

The demand for security screening systems has increased in recent years because of the increased illegal immigration and terrorist attacks across the world. The infamous terrorist attacks of 9/11 in the US, London bombings in 2007, Mumbai attacks in 2008, Sri Lanka Easter bombing in 2019, and the mass shooting at a mosque in New Zealand in 2019 are some of the major attacks by terrorists or individuals. With the use of X-ray full-body scanners, the complete X-ray image of an individual is obtained. The X-ray image highlights any metal attached to the body. This prevents any unwanted activities from taking place. Biometric systems such as fingerprint and face scanners are specially used for criminal identification. Thus, due to the increase in terrorist activities, the demand for highly efficient security systems is also increasing. The growing number of crimes and terrorist attacks globally has led to increased concerns for the safety and security of assets and people.

According to the Global Terrorism Database documents, in 2018, there were more than 9,600 terrorist attacks across the world, which killed more than 22,980 people, including 7,290 perpetrators and 15,690 victims. Terrorist violence is heavily concentrated in certain locations and coincides with other types of political violence. Countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and the Democratic Republic of Congo are some of the worst-affected countries when it comes to deaths by terrorist attacks.

Restraint: Privacy concerns

Many people consider biometric technology offensive, unpleasant, invasive, and awkward. This may be attributed to cultural, spiritual, or personal beliefs. Many people feel uncomfortable disclosing their personal information and with facial recognition solutions used in travel and immigration. The use of biometrics to observe, link, and track a person’s daily activities is another common threat. The reason for this restraint is the lack of technical know-how and awareness among the inhabitants, mostly in developing countries. The impact of this restraint is medium. According to a survey conducted by the Biometrics Institute in May 2019, 74% of the stakeholders believed that privacy concerns, along with data protection and sharing concerns, are holding back the use of biometrics.

Opportunity: Technological advancements in security screening systems

The advancements in X-ray screening systems and metal detectors could facilitate the deployment of security screening solutions at several places. Different types of technologies, such as standard X-ray, dual-energy, backscatter, and CT, are used in X-ray imaging systems. Earlier, 2D X-ray systems were used to screen baggage at airports. However, X-ray systems providing a 3D view of luggage have been launched recently. These systems provide better and more intuitive information about the bag contents allowing viewers/operators to zoom in and rotate the bag for a 360-degree view. In the single-view X-ray transmission mode, the X-ray beam is transmitted through objects and detectors positioned opposite to the beam. Dual-view X-rays use 2 X-ray beams peaking at different energies (high and low) and pass them through an object. This technique generates material-specific images by comparing 2 different energies. This material discrimination helps operators locate suspicious objects and identify potential threats. Dual-view scanners are used for explosives and narcotics detection.

Challenge: Health hazards of full-body scanning

Full-body scanners are used to ensure safety at airports by generating a computerized stripped image of the passengers boarding flights. This guarantees that none of the passengers are carrying any dangerous material. However, exposure to high levels of X-rays can increase the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, lead to the cloudiness of the eye’s lens, and aggravate hereditary issues. European countries have banned X-ray scanners at airports. The impact of this challenge is high, and an alternate solution must be developed to maintain security at airports.

Biometric technology held the major market share in the security screening market in 2020

The biometric systems used for security screening include face scanners, fingerprint scanners, and iris scanners. These systems help in the identification of criminals by comparing the scans with the database of existing biometric records. Biometric systems require less time to scan and have more accuracy. Hence, these systems can be used in applications such as access control in offices or buildings, e-commerce, immigration, and border control. The biometric systems segment holds the largest share of the security screening market. Biometric technology has evolved from fingerprint scanners to facial recognition. Thus, its demand is on the rise for security screening purposes to enable authorities to screen a person accurately. The deployment of biometric systems is on the rise at airports and for homeland security purposes.

Security screening market for transportation end-users to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period

The transportation sector includes transit locations such as airports, seaports, rail stations, and bus stations. The global passenger traffic is expected to increase tremendously by 2025. A large number of passengers pass through these transit locations, and to maintain security at these sites, contraband detection systems, such as metal detectors and X-ray scanners, are used. The rising passenger traffic has made it essential to regularly and rigorously inspect people, cargo, baggage, and vehicles. Individual and baggage screening is very important at airports and other transit locations, while cargo screening plays an important role in preventing illegal activities at seaports. Many countries are focusing on installing security measures at airports, bus depots, and train stations due to the increasing incidents of terrorist attacks and crimes.

Security screening market for baggage and cargo screening application to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period

The delivery of mails and parcels is witnessing a boom, especially due to the extensive growth of e-commerce. By the end of 2021, worldwide e-commerce sales are expected to reach almost USD 5 trillion, or 17.5% of all retail sales. With a lot of parcels and small packages moving around owing to the rise in e-commerce sales, parcel screening becomes critical. While convenient for consumers and companies, the huge flow of post and package deliveries to homes and businesses represents a growing security vulnerability. This vulnerability demands the screening of mails and parcels and, hence, could create a huge demand for security screening systems and solutions.

Key Market Players: The major players in the security screening market are Smith Detection (UK), OSI Systems (US), Leidos (US), Thales (France), and NEC (Japan).


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