Home > Peak Performance, PSIM > More missing the PSIM point

More missing the PSIM point

Dan Dunkel wrote a fun article in the February issue of SDM magazine.  He proposed that PSIM (physical security information management) be replaced with VSIM (virtual security information management).  I assume he’s joking.

Actually, if you read the article assuming he had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, it’s a fun ride.  He brings in virtualization, the IT concept of using software to emulate hardware like servers and storage devices.  He also refers to the word “virtual” in the gaming sense, of creating a virtual reality environment.

Dan does a good job of making fun of computer speak in the article.  His articles in SDM are always entertaining. The only thing I didn’t like about this article was the nagging feeling that he may have been serious!

PSIM as a concept emerged because end user managers of security environments cried out for a way of better managing security information.  They wanted to be able to do with security data what every other business unit does with the data from their respective business units – that is, to make intelligent business decisions.

If Dan is serious that the physical security industry no longer thinks in terms of being physical, then PSIM could be easily shortened to SIM – a moniker used for a decade or more in the IT Security industry.

I attend physical and homeland security conferences frequently and I can tell you in no uncertain terms that these industries dwell almost entirely in the physical nature of security.

If Dan is simply being an apologist (evangelist?) for “the cloud” as so many bandwagon jumpers (especially software manufacturers) do these days, then I’ll make a suggestion.

The cloud is an amorphous (by definition!) concept to describe techniques of managing data.  Managing data is exactly what the security executives who gave birth to PSIM wanted all along.  So I suggest that if you really want to get to the heart of PSIM, and to the heart of efficient, effective security management, forget about PSIM – and certainly jettison VSIM – and let’s all talk about just the “IM.”  Information management and business intelligence is what it is all about.

If you get that, you got it.


Categories: Peak Performance, PSIM
  1. Don Wolf
    March 31, 2011 at 3:35 pm


    The security is still physical but the software that can make it happen can be virtual (or in Dan’s case — should be virtual) there are many benefits for virtualizations and cloud solutions.

    When you are using your gmail email service you are physically there to write your email. However, you do not need all the servers, storage, power, air-conditions, etc… to make the operations of an email service. But you do have an application that sends, receives and give you a tools to manage your emails.
    Saying this…!!! We are still in the security world and I do not know any security director that will put all is “stuff” hosted is someone else facility. But you can still virtualize it locally again many benefits for using current up-to-date IT services and equipment.

    I know PSIM is close to your heart, but you should feel proud for its growth and not defensive – just reading between the lines


    • March 31, 2011 at 4:07 pm

      I think you made my point even better, Don: PSIM and VSIM are not the point. Efficient and effective architectures of information management are the point. Therefore, let’s focus on IM and not further muddy the waters with PS or VS.


      • Don Wolf
        April 1, 2011 at 8:06 am

        I Agree!

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