Physical security information management

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Physical security information management (PSIM) is a category of software that provides a platform and applications created by middleware developers, designed to integrate multiple unconnected security applications and devices and control them through one comprehensive user interface. It collects and correlates events from existing disparate security devices and information systems (video, access control, sensors, analytics, networks, building systems, etc.) to empower personnel to identify and proactively resolve situations. PSIM integration enables numerous organizational benefits, including increased control, improved situation awareness and management reporting. Ultimately, these solutions allow organizations to reduce costs through improved efficiency and to improve security through increased intelligence.

A complete PSIM software system has six key capabilities:

  1. Collection: Device management independent software collects data from any number of disparate security devices or systems.
  2. Analysis: The system analyzes and correlates the data, events, and alarms, to identify the real situations and their priority.
  3. Verification: PSIM software presents the relevant situation information in a quick and easily digestible format for an operator to verify the situation.
  4. Resolution: The system provides standard operating procedures (SOPs), step-by-step instructions based on best practices and an organization’s policies, and tools to resolve the situation.
  5. Reporting: The PSIM software tracks all the information and steps for compliance reporting, training and potentially, in-depth investigative analysis.
  6. Audit trail: The PSIM also monitors how each operator interacts with the system, tracks any manual changes to security systems and calculates reaction times for each event.

PSIM-based integration[edit]

A key differential between PSIM based integration and other forms of physical security system integration is the ability for a PSIM platform to connect systems at a data level, contrasting other forms of integration which interface a limited number of products. PSIM allows use of open technologies which are compatible with a large number of manufacturers. These PSIM products offer more opportunities for expansion and can reduce implementation costs through greater use of existing equipment. PSIM solutions in general are deployed to centralize information to single or multiple control hubs. These are referred to as control rooms or command and control centres (CCC, C4I, etc.). To be connected with other technologies, is an important feature of any basic PSIM as is the capability to integrate with Open Industry Standards such as (PSIA, ONVIF, ODBC, etc.)

Security systems typically integrated into a PSIM solution include:

Operator guidance[edit]

PSIM solutions manage all of the data produced by the various security applications (where the security application manufacturers API or SDK allows), and aggregates them to produce meaningful intelligence. This in turn is converted to create graphical situation management content; combining relevant visual intelligence, workflow based on on-screen guidance and automated tasks (also referred to as a Common Operating Interface). This is used for both event management and for day to day security operations. Some of the more advanced PSIM products offer dynamic guidance, which can be changed according to the perceived threat level. This threat level is governed by both external intelligence, such as DHS advice and internal intelligence, such as the number of attempted breaches. This level of dynamic guidance again relies on the level of integration achieved with any given manufacturers API or SDK.

Typical deployments[edit]

PSIM solutions can be found in a wide range of industry and government sectors across the globe. The following are industries where PSIM deployments can be found;

  • Corporate enterprise
  • Critical national infrastructure protection
  • Education
  • Energy, oil & gas
  • Healthcare
  • Homeland defense
  • Industrial & manufacturing
  • Law enforcement
  • Retail & distribution
  • Safe Cities
  • Travel & transportation

Examples of PSIM deployments:

IT convergence[edit]

A key reason for the increased deployment of this technology has been its ability to bridge the gap between the security and information technology functions within organisations. Security applications and devices have until very recently been only available on proprietary technologies, which reduce the ability to use multiple vendors and have created vendor lock in pricing strategies. This opposes IT standards, where plug and play technology has allowed a greater choice of hardware and has helped reduce hardware costs. PSIM enables a greater degree of this type of interoperability, and comes at a time when security applications and devices are moving from analogue to network based connectivity. The combined effect has seen PSIM solutions score highly with IT departments globally, especially those that are database independent and simple to update with new devices and users.

Security at board level[edit]

The function of security departments has traditionally been to secure people and buildings, and has been slow to absorb new technology, relying more on manned guards and physical barriers. As Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) evolves to address all security and legislative risks across all stakeholders, physical security departments have come under increased scrutiny. Numerous examples of physical security breaches leading to major organizational losses, both in terms of assets and brand damage have led to physical security reporting to board level. Globally, new roles have been created within large organizations where Chief Information Security Officers (CISO), have responsibility for ERM, including physical security. Subsequently, management reporting, policy compliance and KPIs have entered the physical security function, requiring more efficient working practices and monitoring tools. Again PSIM software addresses these organizational requirements, and is therefore being stipulated by CISOs.

Market perspective[edit]

Nov 2016 – According to a report from Transparency Market Research, the physical security information management market will expand at a remarkable 18.7% CAGR over the period between 2016 and 2024. As a result, the market, which had a valuation of US$823.1 mn in 2015, will rise to US$3,832.6 mn by 2024.[8]

Jun 2016 – According to a report from Technavio, the global physical security information management (PSIM) market is expected to reach close to USD 22 billion by 2020 and will post a CAGR of close to 15% over the forecast period.[9]

Aug 2015 – According to a new report from the Global Physical Security Market is estimated to be USD 65.41 Billion in 2015 and is expected to reach USD 105.26 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR 9.98% from 2015 to 2020.[10]

Feb 2015 – Reports from TechNavio forecast that
1. PSIM Market in North America Will Post a CAGR of 7.22 Percent from 2014 to 2019.[11]
2. PSIM market in the EMEA region to grow at a CAGR of 16.7 percent over the period 2014-2019.[12]

May 2014 – A new report from TechNavio looks at the growth prospects of the PSIM market in the APAC region. TechNavio's analysts forecast the PSIM market in the APAC region will grow at a CAGR of 42.15 percent over the period 2013-2018.[13]

Apr 2014 – A report recently published by IHS reveals that the worldwide market for PSIM (Physical Security Information Management) is estimated to have been worth $160.3 million in 2013 and highlights some the challenges that PSIM Software vendors face in protecting and growing their respective market share.[14]

Apr 2014 – New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Global Physical Security Information Management Market Assessment, finds that the market earned revenues of $195.7 million in 2013 and estimates this to rocket up to $835.6 million in 2022. The study covers the application segments of mass transport, commercial, safe cities and first responders, government, oil and gas, utilities, and border and maritime. Safe cities and first responders, mass transport, and commercial are currently the key revenue-generating segments.[15]

Jan 2014 – According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Physical Security (Hardware, Software and Services) Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013–2019," the global physical security market is expected to reach a value of USD 125.03 billion by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 14.9% from 2013 to 2019.[16]

Dec 2012 - According to the Frost & Sullivan Analysis Worldwide Physical Security Information Management Market Report the worldwide physical security information management (PSIM) market is expected to grow from $80.0 million in 2009 to $544.0 million in 2015, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 37.6%.[17] There is a mix of companies which are either very strong in “pure” PSIM solutions and others that are adding functionalities to a basic video management system (VMS)

Industry bodies[edit]

  • Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF): open industry forum for the development of a global standard for the interface of IP-based physical security products
  • Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA): a global consortium physical security manufacturers and systems integrators focused on promoting interoperability of IP-enabled security devices
  • Security Industry Association: trade association for electronic and physical security solution providers
  • OPC Foundation: interoperability standard for the secure and reliable exchange of data
  • SIP Forum: advance the adoption of products and services based on the Session Initiation Protocol
  • BACnet: data communication protocol for building automation and control networks


  1. ^ Craighead, Geoffrey. "Special Report: Government Security - Sharing Video with Police". Cygnus Business Media. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Atlanta Operation Shield". Atlanta Police Foundation. Atlanta Police Foundation. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  3. ^ "CCTV on track against terror". Professional Security Magazine pg. 46. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  4. ^ Jackson, William. "Force multiplier: PSIM leverages video surveillance networks in Baltimore". GCN. 1105 Public Sector Media Group. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  5. ^ Craighead, Geoffrey. "Special Report: Government Security - Sharing Video with Police". Cygnus Business Media. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  6. ^ "Video Camera Community Partnership Program". City of Ventura Police. City of Ventura. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  7. ^ Rothman, Paul. "STE Security Innovation Awards Silver Medal: Technology Makeover". Cygnus Business Media. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Physical Security Information Management Market to Reach US$3,832.6 Mn by 2024". Transparency Market Research. Retrieved 23 Nov 2016.
  9. ^ "Global PSIM Market 2016-2020". Technavio. Technavio. Retrieved 23 Jun 2016.
  10. ^ "Physical Security market to reach $105 B". MarketsandMarkets. Retrieved 25 Aug 2015.
  11. ^ "PSIM Market in North America 2015-2019". Technavio. Infiniti Research Limited. Retrieved 17 Apr 2015.
  12. ^ "PSIM Market in the EMEA Region 2015-2019". Technavio. Infiniti Research Limited. Retrieved 17 Apr 2015.
  13. ^ "Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) Market in the APAC Region 2014-2018". Technavio. Infiniti Research Limited. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  14. ^ Bremner, Paul. "PSIM software continues to see strong growth despite increased competition". IHS Technology. IHS Technology. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Frost & Sullivan: Compliance to Standard Operating Procedures will Fuel Uptake of PSIM Software". Frost & Sullivan. Frost & Sullivan. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  16. ^ "Global Physical Security Market is Expected to Reach USD 125.03 Billion in 2019: Transparency Market Research". Transparency Market Research. Transparency Market Research (TMR). Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  17. ^ "Frost & Sullivan: Physical Security Information Management Fundamental for Integration and Convergence in the Physical Security Market". 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2013-08-11.

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