Standards and SaaS: Security's Big Trends at Seminar

By Sherry Harowitz

Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us. We all love customization, but when manufacturers give security products too much of their own “secret sauce,” it ends up being difficult to make them work together in an integrated system. Some degree of standardization is needed.

Surprisingly, after years of talk, genuine progress is being made via the collaborative body called ONVIF. ONVIF began with standards for video and plans next to tackle access control, logical access control, advanced video motion detection, and life-safety systems, says Steve Surfaro of Axis, an ONVIF spokesman. Already on the video side, 72 percent of new products are compliant with the core standards. Complex systems may never be 100 percent plug and play, but basic interoperability will become easier.

One company bucking that trend, however, is Panasonic, whose President Bill Taylor says, “We pride ourselves on these black-box solutions.... We don’t have interoperability.... That’s useful in government, defense, and courtroom applications.”

Another issue getting lots of attention at the recent ASIS Seminar and Exhibits was “software as a service” (SaaS), which refers to a third party providing some type of system functionality remotely over the Internet, with the data, such as time and attendance information, residing “in the cloud.” (In an earlier iteration, this approach was called the application service provider, or ASP, model.)

(To keep reading Sherry Harowitz's Editor's Note "Security Gets SaaSy, But Has Standards" from the December issue of Security Management, click here.)

♦ Photo by Jeff Kubina/Flickr


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