Backgrounder: The PSIA Area Control Specification

The Benefits

  • The PSIA Area Control Specification enables systems integrators and end users to easily integrate multiple access control and intrusion detection systems and devices from different vendors.  The multiple-system, multiple-vendor situation is commonly found in many businesses and facilities.                                                                                                                                                      
  • Instead of viewing each system separately, security users can manage and respond to one view of all their access control and intrusion systems and devices once these are integrated via the Area Control spec.                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • Through the Area Control integration, an alarm or event in one system can be automatically communicated to and trigger actions in other systems. This seamless communication streamlines security management and tasks, such as revoking access privileges and clearing alarms.                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Systems integration that would normally take weeks or months and substantial custom computer code and interfaces can now be accomplished in hours and days--and yet deliver more effective, easily maintained security solutions at lower costs.

Practical Application: Access Revocation

In many security environments today, revoking employee access because of termination or a lost card requires manual intervention in each system. An integrator may write custom code, or a script, to automate the process across the systems, but then the script must be maintained, plus updated and tested each time an underlying system is upgraded or altered.

With access and intrusion systems conforming to the PSIA Area Control specification, security professionals need only enter the revocation command once; it will then propagate automatically to the other systems. Access privileges across a corporate or campus network are cancelled within minutes, with minimal effort, greatly improving security.

Practical Application: PSIA Video Analytics Spec Integration with Area Control Spec

Analytics software within a surveillance camera determines a car is traveling in a restricted area. In most security installations, this information would be revealed in the video or access control system; however, the event might unfold across several different systems, making situation management more difficult.

When the analytics software is compliant with the PSIA Video Analytics spec and the video, access and intrusion systems comply with the Area Control spec, all of these systems can communicate easily with each other. The analytics communicate the car is unauthorized, triggering the access control or intrusion system to initiate a physical barrier to stop the vehicle.

Specification Basics

 

  • The PSIA specifications make plug-and-play interoperability possible for systems, applications and devices across and beyond the security ecosystem. All PSIA-compliant systems and devices, from cameras to physical security information management systems, have a common way to describe alarms, events, actions, etc.                                                                                                               
  • Because all the systems “express” themselves in a common way, it’s easy for the integrator or end user to set up “if-then” triggers in the rules engines usually built into security systems.

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