PSIA working group to release access and intrusion profiles

With his extensive experience in developing technology standards, Mohammad Soleimani, executive VP and CTO of Kastle Systems, understands that standards that fail to enable true interoperability among supposedly compliant products have little value.

"When products incorporate a standard, there should be a high degree of certainty that those products will interoperate and deliver the benefits the user expects," he said.

To ensure interoperability with a "high degree of certainty," Soleimani recommended to the PSIA board that the organization develop use-case specific "profiles." Such profiles are commonly used by standards-setting bodies and are carved out of broader standards or specifications to address narrower applications of the standard.

The PSIA board agreed and now, approximately nine months later, Soleimani and the Profiles Working Group he chairs are on the verge of announcing two Profiles: Access Control and Intrusion Detection, both derived from the broad Area Control Specification; and a testing tool that will make compliance and development easier for manufacturers.

"We very much appreciate Kastle and Mohammad's leadership in developing our first Profiles," said David Bunzel, Executive Director, the PSIA. "We expect these tools will accelerate adoption of our specifications by an even broader group of manufacturers."

Streamlining Compliance
"The PSIA Area Control Specification is a very broad and deep document, and some manufacturers may not offer the use cases it details," said Soleimani. "For them, the Access Control Profile and the Intrusion Detection Profile are so explicit that compliance with either virtually guarantees interoperability."

In addition to drawing data elements from the Area Control Specification, the Profiles also detail the data elements from the PSIA's common reference specifications that govern how security systems communicate with each other, including the PSIA Common Security Model. Having these "compliance recipes" to follow should make it faster and easier for manufacturers to comply with PSIA specifications.

For example, a company making intrusion sensors can meet the Intrusion Detection Profile requirements instead of complying with the entire Area Control Specification and each of the PSIA's common specifications.

The Profiles Working Group also has developed a comprehensive testing tool to validate a correct Profiles implementation and ensure manufacturers' products will interoperate with other PSIA-compliant products. In a product's design phase, the Profiles test tool can help manufacturers build in the Profile, validating compliance along the way. When the product passes its tests, the tool generates a certificate the manufacturer can send to the PSIA, confirming compliance.

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