Monday, March 17, 2014

PSIA-Compliant Access Control Solution to Debut at ISC West

By David Bunzel
Executive Director, the PSIA

PSIA members Inovonics and Mercury Security will literally demonstrate the business value of a standards-based approach to security solutions at ISC West this year.

The companies recently jointly announced that in compliance with the PSIA’s Area Control specification, Mercury will integrate Inovonics' EN6080 Area Control Gateway (ACG) with  Authentic Mercury™ branded hardware to offer the industry's first integrated access control platform with Enterprise Mobile Duress (EMD) capabilities.

A complete demo of the solution showcasing integrated access control with Enterprise Mobile Duress will be on display at ISC West at the Inovonics booth at ISC West (#16109). The demo will provide a great way to learn more about how Mercury and Inovonics are using the PSIA specifications to quickly bring a powerful integrated solution to market. It will also demonstrate why the industry will benefit from standards-based solutions and how the PSIA can help members deliver them.

“It is gratifying to partner with an industry leader like Mercury Security that shares our same passion – taking an open standards-based approach to delivering integrated, best-of-breed solutions," said Michael Slack, vice president of technology and business development at Inovonics, in the companies’ joint news release.

"Together, we have a solution that is the first of its kind, merging access control with Enterprise Mobile Duress – made possible by utilizing open standards and leveraging existing security infrastructures. The end result is a seamlessly integrated, intelligent security system that yields reduced installation time while minimizing incremental costs. Our partners have requested this capability and now, together with Mercury Security, we can deliver it," Slack said.

The new integrated Mercury access control platform with Inovonics' Area Control Gateway (ACG) and duress pendant system allows partners and resellers to leverage their customers' existing security infrastructures while adding the tremendous value of EMD at a minimal incremental cost. Using panic buttons as a "credential," security personnel can track the identities and locations of the persons assigned to each pendant as they enter and move throughout buildings and secure areas. Combining access control together with Inovonics' EN6080 ACG location capabilities in this way ensures greater response time when safety issues arise.

Inovonics ( is a leading provider of enterprise life safety and specialized commercial wireless systems, and Mercury Security ( is a global leader in the supply of OEM access control hardware.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Physical-Logical Access Interoperability (PLAI) Specification Update

By Mohammad Soleimani

Chairman, PLAI Working Group, the PSIA

CTO, Kastle Systems

A standardized means of synchronizing physical and logical identities, privileges and even credentials is close to reality. The PSIA’s Physical-Logical Access Interoperability (PLAI) Working Group, which includes Allegion, Inovonics, Kastle, Mercury Systems, Microsoft Global Security, Stanley Security and UTC, is very close to releasing a draft proposal for the PLAI specification.

    The PLAI specification ensures the logical and physical access privileges associated with an employee’s role are always synchronized. Further, the PSIA’s PLAI will enable automated inter-PACS interoperability in the market for the first time. End users and integrators have been requesting all of this functionality but until we developed the PLAI specification, the only “solutions” have been highly manual; error-prone; time consuming to implement; and expensive.

     The PLAI specification builds on standards already used in the logical identity and access management world, including Role-Based Access Control (RBAC-RPE) and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). These will enable vendors and users to more easily map logical identities and their role-based privileges to physical identities. In turn, that enables enterprises to cost effectively: 

  • Ensure persons are physically present before allowing them to log into applications and databases to shore up cyber-security defense.
  • Streamline privilege management and reduce security administrative costs.
  • Reduce multiple access cards because PLAI’s inter-PACS interoperability automates the process of enabling an access card associated in one vendor’s PACS to be used at entry points associated with a different PACS system as long as the card readers are the same. 
     These capabilities and more could change how the industry manages physical and logical identities. We’re very excited about our work on the PLAI specification and look forward to sharing more about it soon.