As companies grow, security becomes both a bigger challenge and a more urgent concern. Companies typically add new security systems as they grow, often resulting in an assortment of disparate systems that lack centralized management. During the recession, many companies opted to acquire existing facilities instead of building new ones, and those facilities often came with legacy security systems. Administering multiple systems is labor-intensive, and incompatible systems present higher risks as well as additional costs. Eventually it becomes evident that all these diverse technologies should be tied together into a unified system – which is an incredibly daunting task. However, streamlining systems and honing efficiencies are critical steps to effective security management enterprise-wide.

Unifying Systems with Software

Unifying an existing large, disparate group of physical security systems really boils down to central management of two key factors – information and identity. Physical security information management (PSIM) systems have evolved to collect and manage information from the various systems. PSIM systems can streamline operations and reduce the overhead for security departments. They can also simplify workflows and automate responses to specific events to reduce errors and inconsistencies.

The other requirement of centralized control of physical security systems is identity management, provided by physical identity and access management (PIAM) software. PIAM software manages the full range of identities and access privileges across an organization – who's who and who can go where and when. PIAM systems also provide automation capabilities such as on-boarding and off-boarding of identities. They are another way to eliminate errors and inconsistency, which in turn lowers risks. PIAM systems link logical and physical identities throughout the organization, from computer passwords to ID credentials to visitor management.

Combining PSIM and PIAM systems provides the ultimate route to unify the disparate components of an enterprise's security systems. Combining management of security information with management of physical identity and access enables complete centralized operation of security functions.

System Advantages Enterprise-Wide

PSIM software provides a platform and applications that collect and correlate events from existing security devices and information systems (video, access control, sensors, analytics, networks, building systems, etc). The systems empower personnel to identify and proactively resolve situations as they unfold. The software eliminates data silos by streaming all the information from a variety of devices and systems into one location or dashboard. PSIM software aggregates information from physical and logical security systems and automates processes.

Physical identity and access management (PIAM) software can unify identities enterprise-wide, integrating physical security systems, automating processes and simplifying control of employees, vendors and other identities. The technology allows enterprises to manage the lifecycle of identities as they relate to physical access, including synchronized on/off-boarding across all systems harboring an identity record, access profile and zone management, and role-based physical access.

Combining PSIM and PIAM creates a comprehensive situational management platform that also provides verification, planning and automated responses. The PIAM system correlates all the identity and access data with the event/situation data from the PSIM system to enable automatic, policy-driven responses to physical security situations. The combination enables correlation of any security incident or event with associated identities and access data to promote expedient and effective responses. PIAM provides the element of “who” and PSIM provides elements of “what,” “when” and “where.” Together, the systems can provide information about “why” and “how” (i.e., how to respond).

Empowering Security Operators

Integration of PSIM and PIAM systems constitutes an intelligent, connected infrastructure that enables intelligent operations. Automated processes eliminate errors, decrease costs and improve security. Automatic and pre-planned reactions ensure a consistent response when, where and how it is needed. Automated compliance and workflow promote better management of risk and increased return on investment (ROI) from lower operating expenses.

Together, PSIM and PIAM empower security operators across public safety and private organizations with quick access to information to enable personnel to respond faster and more effectively, enhancing the overall security of the organization.