Think About the Platform
Chuck Teubner is chairman and CEO of VidSys and has significant experience in the security and government market sectors. VidSys is a provider of Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) solutions to enable public safety and security personnel to focus exclusively on awareness, assessment and action.
Security Magazine: What is the major trend in the security market for 2007?
Teubner: Over the past year, it’s evident that the trend of physical and IT security convergence has transitioned from prognostication by industry pundits to the commercialization of real products that are transforming the industry. This trend will continue to gain traction in 2007 as organizations realize that they need to correlate what’s happening on the physical side with what’s happening on the IT side of security. For too long, these systems and operational teams have existed in silos, but through open standards and a common goal of improving security effectiveness, the shift is on to more effectively bridge physical and IT security.
One of the first steps to support this convergence is instituting a more holistic approach to collecting and analyzing the overwhelming amount of data from physical and IT-based systems to ensure the right response to a given security event. The abundance of security equipment including inexpensive digital cameras, network video recorders, alarms and motion sensors are adding to the data fire hose, compounding the data management challenge for operations center personnel.
Until now, there has been a void in the physical security market at the intersection of IT security. Despite the staggering number of cameras, alarms and sensors feeding data to an operations center, there lacked a PSIM platform that could take in all the data, correlate it with data from IT security systems and provide security personnel with the insight to make effective decisions and respond to security events.
Security Magazine: What is this emerging PSIM market?
Teubner: A product category within the physical security market, PSIM is the marriage of video management for security and surveillance applications, with incident and event management.
- PSIM products provide a unified management platform to tie the disparate physical and logical systems (video surveillance, recording, analytics, sensors, access control, etc.) together enabling security personnel in operations centers to better manage security events, instead of the underlying technology and systems. This is accomplished through:
- Enabling the integration of disparate products and systems, including various video protocols and formats, into a single seamless management platform
- Capturing and correlating real-time events from multiple systems
- Providing real-time collaboration, escalation and notification by integrating with existing communications infrastructure
- Providing an easy-to-use user interface that includes geographical information systems to graphically manage and represent data and current status
This is a logical evolution. The IT security market holds a perfect, recent analogy. In the 90’s, new network technologies and devices – firewalls, honeypots, IDS, IPS, etc. – were deployed generating tons of log files and reports that practically made the benefits of those technologies moot because there was so much data to sift through. Then came security information and event management solutions that pulled data from all those technologies, correlated what was going on in the network and produced useful information on what events required a response, while weeding out peripheral noise.
The physical security market is facing similar challenges today as executives and operations personnel look to better secure and manage their assets, and do so more efficiently and cost effectively.
Security Magazine: What security problems does this PSIM category address?
Teubner: PSIM products help to solve two fundamental problems. First, they glean the most relevant and interesting data from the deluge of security information sources, including cameras, video analytics, access control event logs, intrusion sensors, HVAC and environmental sensors, fire and other alarms, and crime statistics. Second, PSIM products provide a comprehensive view into security system usage, performance, regulatory compliance and general security anomalies that previously were very difficult to obtain.
An effective PSIM solution supplies security teams with the necessary information to plan for and intelligently anticipate the next security threat; quickly detects when threats are beginning and alerts relevant personnel through a variety of communications channels; and coordinates a rapid response to threats by security and operations personnel.
Having the ability to manage, analyze and correlate data from both physical and IT security sources enables an organization to secure the people, property and assets more effectively. PSIM also applies policies and procedures to this data to produce a recommended plan of action for a given event, and ties into the communications infrastructure to distribute the information to the appropriate parties.