It’s time for organizations to improve their security, from detection to response and forensic follow-up, using next-generation physical security information management (PSIM) systems. However, the system’s many capabilities may leave some security professionals believing the onboarding process is too complicated to attempt.

In reality, next-generation PSIMs have simplified systems integration. Centralizing and standardizing a security operations center (SOC) includes integrating the many technology “islands” that comprise a typical system. Previously, the configuration and deployment of these projects required weeks or months to complete. But today’s PSIMs focus on leveraging universal protocols, enabling significant reductions in the time needed to integrate systems and can deliver measurable value for security operations.

These universal protocols include:

  • SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is the standard for all email transmission and is routinely used for sending security alarms and events. SMTP ensures messages are delivered to the correct recipient around the world. A next-generation PSIM provides a unique email address to send these notifications of events and alarms. This standard protocol leverages the most common way to receive alarm notifications, eliminating complex alarm integrations and delivering extra value from an existing system.
  • ONVIF and RTSP (Real-Time Streaming Protocol) are well-established protocols designed for live video streaming. Most IP-based video and CCTV systems support one or both protocols. The protocols enable a next-gen PSIM to connect and live stream video from almost any IP camera.
  • SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), commonly known as Voice over IP (VOIP), is used for telephony over the internet. It is used in security systems for mass notifications and intercoms, enabling two-way talk downs to remote locations and delivering improved service and security assistance. 

Here’s an example of how they work in tandem. The next-generation PSIM assigns a unique email address for every SOC-monitored system and point. Emails sent to these addresses are automatically turned into an actionable item when initiated by a virtually endless list of sources, such as access control, video analytics, weather alerts and water leak detection alarms. The operator in the SOC instantly picks up this new event from a universal alarm queue, and simultaneously the system associates the event with the appropriate action plan, maps and floorplans of a building. It also will automatically stream nearby videos using the ONVIF or RTSP protocols. If mass notification is required, the operator can make remote announcements to onsite intercoms utilizing the SIP protocol. 

Ten years ago, onboarding a PSIM system might take weeks or months. The complications became an excuse for delaying improvements to security responses. Today’s open standards PSIMs are hosted in the cloud as a Security as a Service platform (SaaS). Installation requires no input from other departments and platforms are operational almost immediately. A SOC team requires only a few hours to learn core features.

Buildings at one location share many standard procedures, yet differences in facility type or local laws may require some different approaches to security. A next-generation PSIM enables modified response plans without starting from scratch. Using software, experienced teams create a foundation of policies, adjusting them during the PSIM rollout. 

When an organization needs to scale globally, SOC teams can leverage a vast library of native PSIM integrations to automate these processes further. This capability becomes particularly important in large organizations where cameras, doors and other devices are added or changed routinely, a process that can often be time-consuming and open to human error. A next-gen PSIM’s automation capability resolves these problems.