PSIM – What It Really Is  


We face many different security threats on a daily basis. Simple homeowners face threats of theft of physical assets, violence, intrusion, identity theft, and theft of personal data. For big companies, those threats are multiplied many times. Companies have more physical assets and they have more sensitive information to protect as well. To complicate matters, companies deal with lots of clients and employees; the threats to their security can come from without as well as within the company itself.

For these reasons companies often employ complex security measures to protect themselves. They begin with installing strong doors and locks, and complement these with an access control system. They employ alarms to warn of intruders. They deploy strategic lighting, video surveillance cameras and recording equipment to deter criminals as well as to identify miscreants. On their data network they install firewalls and control access through the use of passwords and badges. While all these measures are required, their complexity can make them very hard to coordinate and use properly. That is where Physical Security Information Management or PSIM comes to the rescue.

What is PSIM?

PSIM is a type of software that helps the user to make sense of the many security applications and devices installed as part of the entire security system. It integrates the devices, security applications, and information systems from different suppliers and manufacturers so all of them sort of ‘pulls in the same direction’ to ensure physical as well as data security. Here, and article on Security Magazine’s online version enumerates the benefits of PSIM.

The main functions of PSIM software include:

  1. Collection of inputs from the different components of the security system: The inputs will come from alarms, video surveillance cameras, recording equipment, access control system readers, and the various software that control each of the sub-systems.

  2. Data and Input Analysis: Data, events and inputs are generally useless until they are properly analyzed to see what they point to: an intrusion attempt, unauthorized access or any situation that requires the user’s intervention.

  3. Verifying incidents: Video surveillance software can only use what it is programmed to recognize to make a preliminary determination of an incident. PSIM software presents all available data from the component sub-systems to allow the operator to make an informed decision as to the required response. In some cases all an alarm incident requires is a reset.

  4. Report generation: All the information gathered, including incidents and responses, are compiled into reports in a format the user can customize. These reports allow the user to use the data for the purposes of investigation, systems and procedures improvement, training, and even incident investigations.

  5. Review trail: PSIM software tracks and records such things as changes to system settings, number of incidents and the actual response times for each. This helps to further improve standard operating procedures and the security system as a whole.

PSIM software platforms allow the integration of security system components from many different manufacturers to give more opportunities for expansion and customization. The end result is better control of what can otherwise be a difficult task of getting all the components to work together.