Physical security information management software synthesizes data from video, access control systems, and other physical sensors. The concept known as Physical Security Information Management (PSIM, pronounced P-sim) was introduced to the world of physical security in 2006. The idea is that everything to do with security is actually data. Data that, once contextualized and analyzed, becomes information for better business decisions. It applies information management and business intelligence concepts to physical and homeland security practices and technologies.
First, a little background. Today, improvised, fragmented and non-standard security management is the norm. Traditional security operations and command and control centers that use paper-based processes and do not share information are common. Business units and IT departments rarely have access to data in the company’s (aka physical) security department. Events are managed separately.
Events related to access control are monitored and managed separately from intrusion detection systems and separately from environmental sensors and other warning systems. Often people and systems are not even in the same facility, which hinders information sharing and correlation. Computers, software and networks are still viewed with suspicion. While most security departments use personal computers and digital video storage, there is no general understanding of interoperability between systems or information sharing in general.
Unfortunately, current trends tend to widen this gap even further.
PSIM is the foundation for the next generation of security management. It is not a stand-alone product, but rather a set of supporting processes and technologies for physical security management and reporting.
Effective PSIM requires technology integration and coordination with the IT and security processes that govern an organization’s data management. This theory thrives amid the dynamic changes in the security industry precisely because of its combined nature and many benefits. PSIM helps extend security services, increase efficiency and effectiveness, and enable better accountability.