Expert: Understanding of PSIM at an 'inflection point'

VidSys' James Chong discusses current state, future of PSIM technology

Chong: For the end users, it is really going to start to bring continuity of security and true convergence concepts being realized.  Physical security, in the past, as traditional physical security or integrated electronic security systems - all of those really took care of what I would call the gathering of the data and integration of the data - but now with PSIM really becoming sort of a killer app in the security industry, the parts that end users are starting to realize are not only the data gathering, not only the integration, but really compliance and policies as well as the logging and auditing, so really the entire business process and the holistic view of risk management is what the end users are starting to realize. It is much more than integrating disparate systems. That’s just one part of PSIM. What the end users are benefitting from is this can save lives, time, money and it can help reduce the risk and allow an organization – whether you’re a public safety official or a corporation –  your vulnerability management and risk management is able to be implemented because PSIM now can really help you with the compliance, policy and business process engineering.

SIW: The need for technology to get a complete security view climbed to 26 percent in VidSys’ most recent National Security Survey of senior IT and physical security professionals. What do organizations need to do internally to obtain that holistic view of security using technology?

Chong: In order to get that complete view and leverage it, you do have to fully adopt the IT infrastructure in your organization. Without really leveraging the information technology assets, getting that complete view from an integration standpoint is not possible in today’s world where security is really another IP address on the network. The other thing is they have to understand that (they’re approach) has to be more than reactive from a security policy and procedures perspective, it has got to be real-time and proactive. There is some organizational understanding and behavior that has to be part of that change process. The type of people that organizations have to bring on have to have different DNAs from those in the past, meaning it is not just about understanding the hardware or what I would say are the non IT-related elements of a physical security system, but it is now running more on the applications, software and network side. So, the skill sets and people you bring onto your staff have to be more geared towards the applications, the network, the software, and IT versus the more traditional backgrounds that we used to look at. Now there is a blending of ex-security guards, police officers and law enforcement personnel with the type of (IT-focused) people that organizations need to take advantage of and leverage this holistic view.

SIW: How do you see the split you previously predicted in the definition of PSIM becoming PS+IM evolving?

Chong: Right now it is heavier on the physical security side, but I do see that split starting to even out as we continue towards this calendar year and beyond. In many of our projects, it is not just physical security systems we’re talking about as part of the integrated view or that integrated solution, it is including the other management systems, such as the network management systems, IT management systems, IT security systems and facilities, such as building management systems and fire. Those pieces are now really becoming part of most of the PSIM solution requirements and the requirements of the market so that split is certainly evident today and is growing on a quarter-by-quarter basis.