As physical security information management (PSIM) software adoption continues to grow, public and private organizations are learning the many ways in which they can glean value from the technology that’s designed to convert real-time data into meaning, and actionable information from various security devices and systems to assess, analyze and enable more intelligent, effective and efficient management of unfolding situations. Here are a few ways organizations are using PSIM software to improve security, safety and business operations that would otherwise be impossible, extremely difficult, or costly without it.
One way in which organizations use the software is to better understand the causes behind alarms – doors, fire, sensors, etc. - that go off throughout a typical work day. For one global Fortune 50 enterprise with PSIM software installed, when a door alarm sounds, video footage from the time and location of the alarm is immediately viewable. This enables security personnel to quickly assess the situation and determine whether action is necessary or not. For example, the operator may dispatch a security officer, allow the door to be automatically locked, and/or notify employees in the immediate area. Additionally, if an intruder is identified with the alarm, the PSIM software can track the movements of the individual making it easier for responders to quickly detain the person and identify whether or not that person is acting alone. Prior to installing the PSIM software, the standard alarm procedure was to send a guard to assess the location, often finding nothing due to the lag time between the alarm going off and the guard arriving at the site. While situations could be identified, it was difficult to know where a suspect came or went from without manually reviewing camera footage, a time consuming and costly process. PSIM software eliminates this manual review and, in the case of one enterprise organization, was able to reduce the number of false alarms being reviewed by 90 percent due to the automatic identification and accurate classification of false alarms.
PSIM software leverages a rules engine that analyzes data and policy information from multiple sources to correlate events, make decisions based upon event variables and initiate activities. Pre-packaged or user-written rules define the event or event combinations for identifying situations. The software also presents, in real time, instructions for resolving the situation based on standard operating procedures (SOPs). The software can then report and analyze the steps taken to resolve a situation and determine whether or not all the steps required for proper resolution were completed. These audits use to be manually performed, but with PSIM these reports are created seamlessly, tracking resolution steps for compliance and alerting organizations to any missed steps.
Organizations can also leverage PSIM software to monitor operator performance. One Fortune 500 company using PSIM software to improve its security practices knows it takes a particular amount of time for an operator to view video to visually verify an event before they can be certain they’ve seen the entire situation. If the operator closes the situation in less than the appropriate length of time, the situation is reopened and a manager is notified to review the resolution details. The manager can review all information pertaining to the situation to quickly understand the entirety of what happened and the response actions. This enables him or her to immediately address improper responses while optimizing overall standard response protocols. Prior to the implementation of PSIM, the security operating center supervisor spent one to four hours every day going through the last 24 hours of system responses looking for improper responses, such as multiple events closed in a very short period of time, each with the exact same explanation. The operator would review all system data separately and then manually piece it all together to understand what may have taken place.