Physical security information management (PSIM) is software designed to integrate multiple unconnected security applications and devices and control them through one comprehensive user interface.

PSIM is realized via collection and correlation of events from existing disparate security devices and information systems (video, access control, sensors, analytics, networks, building systems, etc.) to empower personnel to identify and proactively resolve situations.

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PSIM Applications

Critical Applications

Transportation PSIM

  • Transportation: rails, airports, seaports, subway.
  • Utilities: oil and gas, electricity, and dams in cities.
  • Communication: mobile operators, service providers, incumbent communication providers, digital TV operators.
  • Government: government infrastructure (buildings), Public Safety, Homeland Security Agencies.
  • Military: campuses, buildings etc.

Non-critical Applications

First Responders PSIM

  • Education: Universities, Colleges, Private Schools.
  • First Responders & Healthcare: Hospitals, Fire Departments, Private EMS/Ambulance, emergency management.
  • Industrial & High Tech: Manufacturing plants, Research centers, Fortune 500 & Fortune 1000 companies


PSIM Challenges

A complete PSIM software system has six key capabilities that help to distinguish it from other forms of integration:

Collection – PSIM software must be multi-vendor and mutli-technology in order to be able to collect data from any number of disparate security devices or systems using a variety of protocols and interfaces.

Analysis – PSIM must be able to analyse and correlate a large volume of  data, events and alarms to identify the real situations and their priority.

Verification – PSIM software must present the relevant situation information in a quick and easily-digestible format for an operator to verify the situation.

Resolution – PSIM must provide Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), step-by-step instructions based on best practices customised to fit the organisation’s policies, and tools to resolve the situation.

Reporting– PSIM must track all the information and steps for compliance reporting, training and potentially, in-depth investigative analysis.

Audit trail – PSIM must also monitor how each operator interacts with the system, track any manual changes to security systems and calculate reaction times for each event.

PSIM Benefits

A successful implementation of a Physical Security Infrastructure Management system, presents many important benefits:

PSIM integration enables numerous organizational benefits, including:

  • increased control,
  • improved situation awareness and
  • management reporting.

Ultimately, these solutions allow organizations to reduce costs through improved efficiency and to improve security through increased intelligence.

Beyond the time-saving and efficiency benefits of automation, PSIM enables modern business processes that are essential to any modern security department. For organizations, this includes:

  • regular reports,
  • incident logs,
  • continuous process improvement initiatives,
  • training drills,
  • system healthcare checks,

and much more.

Many of the alarms and alerts that come into the security environment are not really threats. These need to be prioritized according to risk, such as time of day, location of personnel and a whole range of other critical factors. ‘Dynamic alarm management’ is required to find the ‘hot’ ones which indicate that some action may need to be taken. Connected systems and automation of processes such as:

  • key personnel alerting,
  • video verification, and
  • Service Level Agreements (SLA)

will help to ensure alarms/alerts are followed up quickly and in a relevant manner.

PSIM is enabling companies to create centralized security infrastructures, some of the advantages this provides includes:

  • Consistent levels of security across all sites, so no weak links
  • Cost reductions through reduced manned guards
  • Cost reductions through fewer control rooms
  • Better use of remote monitoring

PSIM realises reports and dashboards covering the entire security estate.

PSIM has become the perfect catalyst for this transition from systems, which are reliant on constant monitoring and input by security personnel to information based systems which proactively manage the increasing volume of information in the control room.

To further drive value from the security departments of a company, PSIM data mining and analytic capabilities can be utilized to create highly specialized reports for other department heads.


PSIM Standards

Two organizations, Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) and Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA), are working to develop global standards, useful in the PSIM environment, for the interface of IP-based physical security products.

ONVIF emphasizes standardization of communication and interoperability between IP-based products regardless of manufacturer. Familiar in the video arena, ONVIF specifications define a common protocol for the exchange of information between network video devices including automatic device discovery, video streaming and intelligence metadata.

PSIA is working towards plug-and-play interoperability for IP-enabled security devices. Currently PSIA has four functional specifications — video, recording/content management (storage), analytics, and area control (access control and intrusion).

Companies had to invest a lot of money to write interfaces to a variety of devices. These Standards Organisations  are making their lives easier by reducing the number of APIs (application programming interfaces) they have to write.

PSIM Future

PSIM future appears very interesting.

Mobile applications, 3D rendering of space and equipment as well as virtual reality will take PSIM to the next level of importance and effectiveness.

Smart policies will be introduced to simplify security threat monitoring, e.g. real-time policy/configuration management, correlation and verification, visualization, rules-based workflow for response, availability/resilience and post-event reporting and analysis.

Scaling through big data techniques and intelligence through deep learning and Artificial Intelligence will be key features in PSIM systems.

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