Security directors look to integrators and consultants to help plan effective security systems for protecting facilities. Video, access and intrusion are further bolstered by visitor management, intercoms, turnstiles and much more.
Once fully deployed, a layered system creates potentially hundreds of inputs arriving in a security operations center, an amount of data capable of overwhelming SOC operators. As team members respond to multiple alarms from multiple different systems, response times are delayed and dangerous events may go undetected, putting an organization’s employees, assets and reputation at risk.
Many integrators and consultants advocate easy-to-use, next-generation physical security information management (PSIM) software as the solution for overburdened operators. An open standards PSIM platform simplifies deployment and integration, providing the opportunity to use automation and increasingly artificial intelligence to eliminate many time-consuming and repetitive tasks.
Let’s look at several areas where the next-gen PSIMs enhance an organization’s security operations.
In the Security Operation Center (SOC)
PSIM software enables all alarms and events — from any system, device or source — to display on a single screen in the SOC. Alarms are grouped and prioritized, letting operators see urgent matters first, without moving between systems. What’s needed for an effective and efficient response, such as geospatial mapping, action plans, nearby cameras, calls lists and more, are immediately available. Standardizing the operations of the SOC, provides security leaders a platform to scale their operation as their organization grows and responds to change. And by using a subscription-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, integrators can focus on delivering operational benefits to their customers rather than managing multiple systems with onsite servers and maintenance updates.
In the Field
Next-gen PSIMs use the latest mapping and mobile technology to keep SOC and field teams coordinated with real-time location and status information. With the power of the SOC in the hands of field teams, everyone has the situational awareness they need to effectively respond to events. Field teams can quickly share video and photos from the scene while the SOC can focus on making sure critical intelligence is available to all responding officers.
Reporting and Analysis
Managing the massive amounts of data generated by disparate systems is a tedious and time-consuming task that can impact a team’s ability to make quick and informed decisions. PSIM software eliminates many of these processes. Automatic auditing tools track every action taken by SOC teams, enabling security leaders to set and analyze key performance metrics to improve response times and eliminate bottlenecks. The years of spending hours and days compiling compliance and audit requests are effectively eliminated.
Information is critical if a security team is triaging an event or investigating it afterward. Whether the event is a lost-and-found issue or a more serious event such as an assault, the importance of immediate, concise and accurate data is crucial. Next-gen PSIM software automatically connects SOC operations and investigation teams, again eliminating much of the time consuming and repetitive nature of sharing response information between teams.
Other PSIM benefits include:
Recent experience has shown that automation and artificial intelligence result in a reduction of 90 percent or more in false alarms caused by non-threatening events such as video motion triggered by trees, lighting or animals, or even system-generated alerts that don’t require operator action. Rather than concentrating on false or nuisance alarms, SOC operators can turn their attention to resolving genuine alarms. Additionally, today’s PSIMs automate routine processes such as sending notifications and triggering actions — all of this improving response times, operator moral and ultimately security outcomes.
Beyond typical physical security system monitoring, next-gen PSIMs are designed to integrate with diverse sources such as business risk alerts, news and weather reports that may impact an organization’s executives and other employees on out-of-office assignments. Blending this level of intelligence into SOC operations provides security leaders with a full picture of their operation and delivers real value to the entire organization. And because next-gen PSIMs use a SaaS model, these platforms can be up and running immediately and fully operational within a week or two.
Today’s PSIMs provide faster response times, tighten up and expand team collaboration, automate routine tasks, leading to a higher, more effective level of security for organizations of any size.