Best Practices for Deploying PSIM Quickly and Efficiently

Best Practices for Deploying PSIM Quickly and Efficiently

No enterprise can eliminate 100% of its risk. Instead, the security objective must be to understand all risks and to effectively manage and mitigate them.

No enterprise can eliminate 100% of its risk. Instead, the security objective must be to understand all risks and to effectively manage and mitigate them.

Historically, PSIMs have been used by security executives to achieve that goal, by collecting and analyzing data from diverse security and other connected systems. Security personnel who monitor those systems can then use that data to make swift, proactive and informed decisions in all security-related situations. PSIMs have also been an effective way to reduce costs while increasing personnel empowerment and efficiency.

At the same time, PSIMs have gotten a bad reputation for a multitude of reasons, ranging from suppliers overpromising on integration and control capabilities, to being too complex to implement and use.

But that’s changing: PSIMs are now increasingly being deployed in commercial applications, with the main ability to integrate disparate access control, video, notification, building operations and other systems into a unified control and management platform. New solutions are providing actionable intelligence that empowers decision makers from a single organization or multiple entities – however geographically dispersed – to collaborate and respond in real time. New PSIMs are easier also to operate, with faster and more efficient implementation and use.

This is true not only for specialized, large-scale infrastructure applications but also for commercial enterprises in diverse verticals such as property management, manufacturing, distribution, telecommunications and other commercial industries. For example, a PSIM can help a large transit agency connect diverse video systems or a large pharmaceutical company manage several locations around the world.

As with any security solution, there are a number of best practices for end users and integrators to consider when evaluating, implementing and operating a PSIM solution.

Integration

The ability to integrate multiple disparate systems within a single, centralized interface is perhaps the most important benefit that PSIM systems offer. The architecture allows support and help bridging the gap between a wide range of systems over multiple physical locations. To accomplish this, PSIMs must be built on an open architecture that provides an enterprise with a standard tool for integration that is simple, easy to maintain, cost-effective and scalable. Being able to seamlessly integrate with virtually any solution from any manufacturer saves money, streamlines operations and provides more complete information for incident response. Without PSIMs to unify systems, communication can be challenging or impossible, and can increase expenses, time and potential for error.

Ease of Use

As with any security system, a PSIM must be easy to use, or it won’t provide consistent and effective results. Operators need simple steps to follow with specific actions to take. They should be guided so they are able to provide policies and directions that are global; for example, every door breach in every single location would be handled in the same way. The PSIM must provide operators with workflows and standard operating procedures (SOP) that are very easy to follow, even if the action is brand new to them. When a crisis occurs, people can become stressed and mistakes can be made, so it’s critical that a PSIM offers operators with reasonable, easy-to-understand steps to follow.

Automation

According to an Intel Security survey, many operators in Security Operations Centers (SOCs) report being overwhelmed by security alerts. On average, the survey found, organizations are unable to sufficiently investigate 25 percent of their security alerts, with no significant variation by country or company size. Automation provides the solution to this common problem by identifying and automatically responding to the non-critical events, so the security staff have the time to focus on the most important events that require human decision-making and coordinated response. The key is to automate out the “noise” so that responders can focus on real events.

Standard Functions

Consistency is key when it comes to security incident resolution. SOC operators can be consistent in their incident response when they are always working with an interface that is familiar to them. A PSIM should enable every access control, alarm management or video surveillance system to perform in the same manner, regardless of the manufacturer. Standardization with a PSIM also permits managers to track key security metrics such as response times, problem sites, crime statistics and more. In addition, some enterprises require reports for audit, legal and compliance teams, and a PSIM system should be able to complete and standardize those reports and that process, and ultimately, save time in personnel costs. 

Stability

Simply put, a PSIM should work as planned. To that end, one best practice is to deploy with system redundancy so that service is unaffected in the event of an unplanned hardware or network failure. There are many ways this type of redundancy can be deployed, including SQL and server mirroring and federated servers across regions for both scaling and backup. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) provides clear standards for running a 24/7 monitoring application under its UL1981 standard. Look for platforms that conform to this standard to ensure the highest life safety efforts. Recent amendments to the UL standard encompass cybersecurity concerns, facility redundancy and more.

New PSIM solutions are changing perceptions in enterprise security as they continue to prove how pragmatic and highly efficient they can be in improving the overall effectiveness and efficiency of security operations. Enterprises that examine and place an emphasis on these important criteria can ensure that they will reap the benefits of solutions that mitigate enterprise security risks.

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