Standards alliance formed

Thursday, March 13, 2008

DALLAS--On Feb. 28, just two days after giving the keynote address at TechSec Solutions, a conference focused on the impact of IP technology on the physical security industry, David Bunzel, managing director of Santa Clara Consulting Group, convened a group of 20 industry manufacturers and integrators to discuss standards creation. At the end of the day, the group had formed the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance, with a goal of working to promote the interoperability of IP-enabled security devices.
"Standards will become more critical in the physical security industry as IP devices grow in importance," said Bunzel. "The involvement of important industry leaders will be essential to getting industry adoption of standards. The future activities of the PSIA could provide the foundation for standards that will support significant growth and development in the physical security industry."
At this initial meeting, those present decided standards for device discovery and video compression are the most pressing.
Companies involved included a number of market-leading brands, some of whom didn't yet want to make their involvement public.
Representatives from many of these firms will meet again at ISC West.
Currently, the most active body working on standards for the security industry may be the Security Industry Association, which recently released ANSI standards for control panels with features for false alarm reduction and for digital communication/IP event reporting. Recently, public comment ended on the Open, Systems Integration and Performance Standard, which, according to the SIA Web site, seeks to define "how security components may interoperate with other security components ... The Framework is six interfaces and additional fundamental elements that define the elements that are shared among all OSIPS interface models. They are Component Connection, Capabilities Exchange, Event Reporting, Authentication and Authorization, IO Point and Schedule Exchange."
Monica Vago Rigano, director of SIA standards, said she was encouraged to hear about the new PSIA. "Any increased level in interest in the concept of standards is a good thing for the industry," she said.
SIA would look to harmonize with any standards-making body in security to avoid contradictory overlap, she said, but the lack of very many standards in the first place makes confusion or competition unlikely, she reasoned.