PSIM evolves to meet the needs of today's enterprises

July 27, 2022
Advent of cloud-based SaaS offerings enables more end users to take advantage of the capabilities provided by the technology

From multi-national manufacturers to regional utility providers, enterprise organizations face security challenges requiring many disparate physical security and business process systems. Having security operation center (SOC) team members jump from one siloed system alert to another during an event is inefficient and overwhelming. Any response delays may result in harm to people and property.

Large organizations require prioritizing multiple data streams so that the most urgent events appear on a single screen, along with the information needed to resolve issues and promote teamwork. Today’s physical security information management (PSIM) software platforms provide the power to cut through the “noise” generated by hundreds to thousands of data points.

A Single Display

Powered by cloud computing, today’s PSIM offerings of are a significant step up from the solutions introduced into the market about 15 years ago. Enterprise SOCs view all alarms and events from any system, device or source on a single display. Leveraging the power of cloud computing enables a PSIM platform to determine the difference between signals, such as an attempted break-in into a datacenter or a propped-open door to a supply locker.

The one display also provides SOC operators with valuable situational awareness data, such as live video streams from cameras nearest an event, mapping tools, call lists and more. The display also pinpoints the position of all smartphone-carrying field team members, showing which are available to assist.

Displayed action plans include customizable, pre-determined standard operating procedures for handling an active shooter, assault or break-in. The PSIM platform automatically completes tasks such as executive reports, enabling SOC team members to concentrate on responding to an event.

Getting Everyone Involved

Extending the situational awareness of the SOC to everyone on the security team enhances event response. It takes only seconds to update the field team, including officers and guards, parking lot attendants, lobby staff and customer liaisons, and have them primed to assist. With a push notification from the SOC, all essential details and actions are shared, including directions to the event site.

Team members use their phones to stream live video from nearby cameras and gain a real-time view of who is nearby and available to help. The field team can share live video and communicate directly with the SOC, using text messages when silent messages are required. Field members on patrol can report unlocked doors, loiterers and other potentially threatening situations before they become dangerous events. Labeling static field devices, such as generators, emergency towers and pull stations, makes it easy to locate them on a PSIM-based interactive map.

These same mobile tools keep other organization stakeholders updated on events that may impact them and status changes of critical assets.

Post-Incident Analysis and Reporting

After an event, PSIM software enables an enterprise organization to review its team’s performance. These platforms can track every action taken by a team member, providing key performance metrics to help improve future response times and avoid bottlenecks. In fact,  PSIMs can rapidly compile compliance and audit requests that team members might take hours or days to complete.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Today’s PSIMs also leverage the cloud-based SaaS model to provide more capabilities and speed needed for rapid event response.

Among the many benefits offered by SaaS are reduced costs – users experience no up-front capital costs. Unlike traditional security systems, PSIM Installation is quick and simple, requiring only an internet connection, username and password. When it comes to integration, a PSIM’s support for open standards enables end-users to choose best-in-breed security products without being locked into proprietary technology.

The SaaS provider is responsible for software updates with no service disruption or downtime. Expect the service provider to invest in cybersecurity measures such as routine software penetration testing, security audits and certifications. These updates, along with no need for onsite servers and recorders, help future-proof an enterprise organization’s electronic security. SaaS-based PSIMs are available on a subscription basis, enabling organizations to start small and grow as their project expands, paying only for only the services they use.

Additional Benefits

Surveillance cameras equipped with motion detection capabilities are notorious for producing false alarms, which distract SOC members from actual events. PSIMs integrate with AI-based false alarm reduction software that focuses on events involving humans and vehicles, eliminating more than 90% of non-threatening events like wind-blown foliage.

Today’s PSIMs also integrate diverse sources such as news, weather and reports with information potentially impacting executives and other organizational staff already on out-of-office assignments or about to travel.

Additionally, these software platforms are highly intuitive, enabling SOC operators to learn the system within hours.

Fully securing an enterprise organization requires a growing number of disparate systems – far beyond the traditional access control, video and intrusion setups of the recent past. Dealing individually with today’s dozens of systems overwhelms the best SOC teams. A next-gen PSIM makes sense of all the noise, enabling the team to reduce response times and create greater team collaboration. It enhances total situational awareness to better protect people, property and the reputation of even the largest enterprise organizations.

About the Author:

Simon Morgan is Chief Product Manager of SureView Systems, a provider of PSIM platforms.