These days everyone seems to be talking about Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) as the next big thing in the security market, but who is actually using the technology? In this feature we look at a selection of case studies to show who has adopted the technology, why and what they have done with it.
IBM and its brand name are globally recognised and whilst this brand recognition has obvious benefits, the flip side to this is IBM is an easily identifiable target for individual’s intent on damaging the US and its perceived assets.
The challenge was to provide IBM with a method of ensuring consistent levels of security across its 26 locations in the UK. IBM needed to ensure better visibility of threats to all of their sites, assets and people. The solution was required to rationalise the number of control rooms, which would generate a rapid return on investment, provide improved efficiency and reduce on-going costs.
IBM wanted to proactively identify trends and irregularities across all the locations, allowing actions to be taken to reduce business risks. They had a number of unconnected systems from a variety of manufacturers over these sites totalling more than 700 security devices. They wanted to reduce redundancy in these security systems, maximising the investment they had already made. Finally, the solution needed to be easy to use, ensuring even during a major incident operators were still able to easily navigate and utilise all of its features. With this in mind, IBM selected IPSecurityCenter from CNL as a platform for their security solution.
Firstly, IBM realised the only way to achieve their goals was to create a centralised command and control centre, which integrated their entire physical security infrastructure including: access control, CCTV, intruder detection and fire alarm inputs across all locations. Centralising the security management would allow them to maintain a consistent level of security across all locations. All of the information from the sub system would be collected in this centralised management system
All of the resulting data needed to be presented in an easy to use interface, ensuring only relevant information was displayed when required. This was presented on individual operator workstations and a strategically placed video wall.
Management required detailed reports for strategic decisions; this was catered for by the customisable reporting within IPSecurityCenter. As increasing efficiency was part of the brief, routine tasks were automatically scheduled whether hourly, daily, weekly or monthly, which also eliminated human error. Additionally IPSecurityCenter enabled the transfer of all paper based policies into automated operator guidance, which improved efficiency and ensured consistent responses to incidents and events.
IPSecurityCenter has helped IBM convert the information from all their security systems into visual intelligence, which leads to improved situational awareness for all security staff. The workflows within IPSecurityCenter have helped the security staff to provide faster and more effective responses to incident and events, which has resulted in a reduced level of interruptions to business. The trend analysis has helped the security team identify frequently occurring incidents, allowing management to add resources to reduce these.
IBM has reported an ROI on their investment within 18 months, however a price cannot be put on the increased level of security at all of the IBM sites; a single security breach could cause untold damage both financially and to the IBM brand. The impact would affect both customer trust and investor confidence.
With a population of over 620,000 the City of Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States. The Baltimore Racing Development LLC (BRD) formed in 2007 with the goal of bringing a “Grand Prix” street race to the City of Baltimore by 2011.
The Baltimore Grand Prix was projected to attract more than 100,000 people to downtown and have an estimated economic impact of $70 million, based on visitor spending on hotel nights, meals, tickets and other purchases, plus direct tax revenue to the city. Hosting the Grand Prix also proved to be a good fit with Baltimore’s drive for innovation, where the City had already deployed advanced technology solutions to aid in public safety and security efforts. Those efforts were spearheaded by the Mayor’s Office to aid in the prevention of crime and provide a uniform, centralized command structure to respond to events that could impact the quality of life for residents, visitors and businesses. Baltimore’s CitiWatch was charged with the responsibility of incorporating live video feeds from multiple sites, and then potentially integrating monitoring technologies; including gunshot detection as well as computer aided dispatch (CAD) into a central command center.
Since its inception, the CitiWatch command center focused on catching crime on video to expedite the prosecution of these events. However, systems were becoming increasingly complex, requiring additional resources and resulting in silo’ed information.
City planners had already determined that a unified public safety system would offer key benefits to the city and would also help meet the immediate Grand Prix needs. The Grand Prix, in effect accelerated the process of adopting a Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) solution, which would give the city the ability to synthesize data from video, responder locations and other public safety devices to create real time situation awareness and management.
To prepare for the event, City planners turned to the VidSys PSIM solution, which offers an Open PSIM Platform and multi?vendor video and situation management software, VidShield and RiskShield, respectively. With the VidSys PSIM solution the City could integrate any number and variety of disparate physical security / public safety devices into one intelligent Common Operating Picture (COP). With better interoperability of technology and the injection of real time intelligence into one central platform, with one COP, accessible across jurisdictions and organizations, watch commanders and first responders would have first?hand information and visibility in to an incident before arriving on the scene.
The combination of integration and intelligence moves the City away from trying to manage technology and individual alerts, to managing the underlying critical situations. This ultimately leads to quicker and more efficient identification and verification of situations and a faster coordinated response. In total, the project involved integrating 779 CCTV/NVR/DVR feeds from several participating agencies around the race area
Implementation ofthe VidSys PSIM solution resulted in primary support of a Unified Command Center (UCC), which became the primary command location, with computers set up for operators from multiple City, State and Federal Agencies, along with the Transportation and Safety Command Center and 5 Copyright VidSys, November 2011 5 mobile Command Vehicles. Between all locations and agencies, approximately 50 users from 20+ agencies were able to share in the information delivered by the PSIM platform.
“The VidSys PSIM software enabled us to enhance public safety and transportation efforts throughout Baltimore city through an unprecedented level of coordination and collaboration by sharing existing resources,” said Sheryl Goldstein, Director of the Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice. “One complete view of unfolding situations allowed our first responders from multiple agencies to more quickly and efficiently identify and verify situations and work with each other for a faster, more coordinated response.”
Millennium bcp currently has 900 retail bank branches in Portugal with others in Poland, Romania, Greece, Angola and Mozambique. Vitor Monterio is the Security Manager at Millennium bcp and he comments: “Security is a fundamental value for the bank. Both personal and property protection are an important factor in preserving the trust and relationship we have with our clients.”
The bank is using the Nice Systems PSIM software solution, Nice Situator, to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of its physical security monitoring and response. The solution is enabling the bank to reduce operational costs and optimise the alignment of its corporate physical security policies, standards and procedures across hundreds of branches in Portugal.
Vitor Monterio adds: “Before we installed Nice Situator we had various security systems of different kinds and by different vendors. This variety of systems demanded a holistic integrated approach, in order to properly manage and monitor their operation. We did not have a platform in place that could provide us with such an integration.”
Joao Amorim, Project Manager at the bank continues: “It was evident for us that a platform that could intelligently combine all of the various systems that were in use at the bank was needed immediately.”
With PSIM, Millennium bcp addresses situations by receiving automatic alarms with information on what has occurred. The Nice solution does this by leveraging the existing alarm panels infrastructure and extracting additional intelligence from already available data. The solution also automatically connects a call between control room personnel and the appropriate individual at the relevant branch. It also automatically places calls to external agencies if needed, such as local city police. Furthermore, it presents step-by-step instructions to the bank’s security personnel on how to handle the situation.
NICE Situator is deployed on Millennium bcp’s corporate network and monitors approximately 900 branches and other buildings throughout Portugal. It is integrated with a wide array of bank sensors and security systems, including video surveillance, access control, intrusion and fire alarm panels, fire detection systems, as well as VoIP, text messaging and email gateways. NICE Situator merges data from these sensors into a common operating picture, analysing and correlating this information, then applying standard operating procedures and automated response plans.
Monterio adds: “With Situator we have a unified operational picture of the various security systems and the security related incidents that occur in different facilities of the bank. This has also provided an opportunity for us to unify methodologies, procedures and standards throughout the different branches of the group.” He continues: “Today, when we receive an alert the operator knows exactly which sensor has been activated and can verify in real-time whether this is a true or false alarm.”
Amorim expands on the impact on false alarms explaining that: “Around 98% of the alarms that we used to handle in the past were false alarms. The cost of handling the false alarms that we are now able save has actually paid off this project. We have significantly reduced the number of false alarms.”
Monterio concludes: “With Situator we were able to both become more efficient in monitoring and handling alarms. Using Situator we were able to significantly reduce the operational costs related to monitoring and responding to security incidents.”