‘PSIM’ seemed to be the buzzword on everyone’s lips at IFSEC International 2012.  The acronym stands for Physical Security Information Management and describes a software platform where unconnected applications come into one comprehensive interface. 

icomply attended the seminar at IFSEC ‘Access control advances and integrated systems’ by Mike Sussman, TDSi.  The presentation explored new developments in access control and the challenges that ‘cloud’ computing will bring to the industry.

We asked Mike how access control is being integrated into PSIM software, and why control rooms are favouring an integrated approach.

Mike Sussman, TDSi

“Access Control Software has predominately been used to configure the systems; aspects such as reporting and alerting were not the main driver. Nowadays a more risk based approach to software is being taken to align it with the way the operational security teams function.

This risk based approach is prevalent in the Middle East markets and is beginning to take hold in the UK and other EMEA countries. Systems nowadays need to provide a holistic view of all systems, both security and non-security related. PSIM addresses this, or does it?

A PSIM system converges the physical security system with the automation and intelligence that computing provides. By correlating and analysing the data from disparate systems and applying logic, whether true or fuzzy, potential situations can be identified quickly and presented in a meaningful manner to the operational staff.

As the PSIM collects data from non-security related systems as well, trends can be spotted which can not only improve security but also efficiency within the business.”

What does the future hold for PSIM?

Hugh Barker, Managing Director from icomply:  “Although the term PSIM has recently been coined, physical security information management has been around for a long time.  Integrating a number of separate security systems does improve efficiency and allows for revenue-generating outsourcing of services.

But there are other factors to consider with PSIM.  Companies need to justify the cost of ownership against return on investment, ensuring they have the in-house skills necessary to manage the system after installation.  PSIM is largely employed in a vertical market, namely multi-national blue chip companies.  Many smaller organisations would have objections to the system.

Risk management is still the most important factor to consider in security.  If you don’t know what the risks are, you can’t deploy assets to cover them.”

Thanks to Mike Sussman for the engaging lecture at IFSEC 2012.