Some companies grow the old fashioned way- organically. Others expand their footprint through mergers and acquisitions. Either way, companies can face "growing pains" when it comes to managing security operations. For example, companies that grow organically tend to add physical security systems with each changing of the guard. More often than not, acquired companies arrive with their own set of preferred security systems, policies and procedures, making for a less than harmonious union with their new parent company.
While some would advocate for standardizing on one preferred solution over another, the full rip-and-replace approach is not always practical from a pure dollars and sense standpoint. Thankfully, there is a middle ground. Physical security information management (PSIM) software enables organizations to integrate multiple access control, intrusion detection, video management systems and other security sub-systems together to form a common operating picture.
If your expanding company is facing security growing pains, here are nine ways that PSIM can help:
1. Seamless migration: PSIM is one of the strongest migration strategies an organization can employ, because the organization can continue to leverage its existing security systems while transitioning to new solutions as budget allows. Regardless of of M&A activity, there are a host of other reasons an organization may elect to gradually phase out one system in favor of another, including poor product support, declining features, prohibitive pricing, end-of-life product decisions, etc. Whatever the case, PSIM allows for a seamless, gradual migration.
2. Situational awareness: Non-integrated security systems can create so much competing noise that critical details are drowned out. For command and control centers that need to monitor thousands of sensor feeds and systems this static can be overwhelming. By bringing all systems and sensors together, PSIM can correlate structured and unstructured information in time, space, and severity, to create rich situational awareness that cannot be replicated in a non-integrated way.
3. Consistent response: Maintaining consistent, compliant responses to situations can be especially difficult for large organizations whose command and control centers span the globe. Frequent organizational restructuring, variances in employee tenures and experience levels, and cultural differences can all have an impact. On top of this, response plans, escalation procedures and reporting requirements constantly change. By using PSIM’s adaptive workflows to standardize and automate policies and procedures, companies can remove the inherent variations and ensure consistent compliant responses anytime, anywhere.
4. Complete oversight: When a company acquires another, it has limited visibility into the acquired firm’s security operations. With the aid of PSIM, the acquiring company can have oversight over all remote command centers, whether pre-existing or newly acquired, and no matter what brand of security solutions they use. PSIM also provides extensive back-end reporting capabilities so an organization can centrally monitor how well compliance objectives are being met, track the severity and types of incidents by location, and identify opportunities for continuously improving security operations across the enterprise.
5. Follow-the-sun model: PSIM’s automated procedures, escalation mechanisms, and integration with GIS means that operators get complete situational awareness of an incident, including what’s happening, where it’s happening, and what to do next. Alarms are overlaid on a map-based interface complete with building graphics, and supplemented by structured and easy-to-follow action plans. Operators can direct response personnel to the exact location of an alarm, quickly pinpointing the precise spot on a campus or even in a very large building. This makes it possible for a large organization with multiple command and control centers in different time zones to implement a follow-the-sun command center model, where remote operators can handle incidents regardless of their location. The organization could also more readily leverage the excess bandwidth of a fully staffed command center in the event another center was operating with a skeleton staff.