The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) launched the Physical-Logical Access Interoperability Working Group at ASIS 2013 last month. Group members include Honeywell, Ingersoll Rand, Inovonics, Kastle Systems, Mercury Systems, Microsoft Global Security, Stanley Security and UTC.

The new group will develop a specification to unify logical and physical identities, allowing manufacturers, integrators and end users to develop cost-effective, easily administered solutions that span the physical and logical security domains. 

Kastle Systems initially brought the concept of an access interoperability specification to the PSIA board of directors when company executives noticed that many of their customers wanted to synchronize the identities used by their logical and physical access control systems. 

Realizing that most end users could not justify the cost of proprietary solutions, the company approached industry consultants and large end users to validate the concept before recommending the formation of a PSIA working group, says Mohammad Soleimani, executive vice president and CTO, Kastle Systems.

The new specification will build on standards already used in the logical identity and access management market, including role-based access control (RBAC-RPE) and lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) that will enable vendors and users to easily map logical identities and their role-based privileges to physical identities, according to a press release.

In the future, the Access Interoperability group hopes to extend physical-logical access synchronization to mobile devices used as credentials.
Microsoft Global Security, which provides physical security at Microsoft Corp., has also joined the alliance’s board of directors, PSIA has announced. 

“We are making standards and interoperability core to our security strategy here at Microsoft Global Security,” Microsoft Global Security Group Manager Mike Faddis says. 

“PSIA continues to gather a diverse group of vendors and create robust specifications for achieving interoperability across the physical security ecosystem. We are particularly impressed that the PSIA is working on solving physical-logical identity unification issues, which is a challenge for us and many other users.”

The PSIA board also includes Dahua; Assa Abloy; Cisco; HIKVision; Honeywell; Ingersoll-Rand; Inovonics; IQinVision; Kastle Systems; Milestone; OnSSI; Proximex/Tyco; Stanley Security Solutions; UTC/Lenel; Verint; VideoIQ; and VidSys.

“We’re very pleased to have Microsoft join the PSIA and provide its perspective and experience as a global security user,” PSIA Chairman Larry Lien says. “Those qualities will be valuable contributions to the PSIA’s efforts to achieve standards-based interoperability across the security ecosystem.”