Social Media’s Important Role in the Internet of Things

When discussing the Internet of Things (IoT), it is important to consider the massive amount of data that is being generated in today’s technological landscape. Experts are now saying that 35 to 50 billion objects will be connected to the cloud by the year 2020, just a few years from now.

It’s also important to consider that 90% of the data present within IoT has only been generated in the past few years. That’s an impressive statistic, but not surprising considering modern technological advancements and norms.

All of us carry cell phones equipped with multiple applications, and many of us have laptops and tablets creating data as well. Furthermore, even our vehicles and the cameras onboard are generating data. This abundance of data is transformational not only for security, but also as a means to help manage and build real-time intelligence for organizations, schools, smart buildings and smart cities.

An overwhelming majority of the data present in the IoT is being created by social media activity. Since almost everybody carries a cell phone, it has become common for the first person to actually witness an event to capture video and still images through texting, tweeting or Snapchatting the incident. For instance, if a car accident occurs, witnesses will take a picture or videos of what happened. The images that are captured carry metadata, telling the cloud where you are located and what time it is.

Law enforcement understands this trend and, as a result, is now beginning to use social media data as an important tool across multiple agencies. In the past, it was understood that a 911 operator would be the first to be notified of something happening—whether it be a health emergency, a robbery, or a natural disaster. Today, social media data actually is out-running those 911 calls because there are already groups of people that are seeing a situation unfold in real-time and creating their own metadata on the incident. That information is the data that people are now able to leverage and use — if they have the ability to make sense of that data.

The Vidsys platform allows individuals to pull in big data from social media and other IoT devices and correlates the data – essentially making sense of the noise – in order to create a clear and efficient response plan. Our technology helps organizations and smart cities by providing actionable information to help them make critical decisions when it matters the most.

Having the ability and proper knowledge to leverage and use social media data in the right way is transformational for how our society operates. While it’s important to consider the current state of IoT and data, it’s even more important to consider the future potential of IoT and how it can be managed and utilized in the most beneficial manner for society.

The PSIM Market Evolution to CSIM

In today’s technological landscape, operation centers exist in many different capacities—in large organizations, transportation agencies, government buildings, hospitals and beyond. There is a huge amount of data that is being generated through various sensors including cameras, doors, alarms, social media and biometrics. As a result, data overload has become a prevalent issue. Vidsys is dedicated to solving this issue by providing essential security tools and software management solutions to organizations worldwide. There is such an abundance of data coming into operation centers that it is nearly impossible to manage all of it in real-time. Our software allows for operators to make sense of data by correlating all of the disparate information and determining the appropriate actions.

Vidsys can help organizations manage security through both Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) and Converged Security Information Management (CSIM). PSIM was coined by Vidsys a decade ago when it was the central component of the Vidsys’ security platform. In recent years, however, we have begun to identify PSIM as more of a stepping stone to where we are now with Converged Security & Information Management (CSIM).

The current reality of security within operation centers is that analysts are not only analyzing data coming in from physical sensors, but now must consider cybersecurity, IT security and the mitigation of insider threats as well. What Vidsys offers is not just physical security, but also management of the non-physical security considerations in a “converged” software platform. While PSIM is still being used today for physical security needs, we have now incorporated the IT portion with CSIM to create a converged security solution for more advanced operations like smart cities and smart buildings.

Last year, we launched our latest software, Vidsys Enterprise 2017, that can greatly improve the security functions of a given organization. An important feature of Vidsys Enterprise is Virtualized Situation Management (VSM), which allows for multiple instances of Vidsys running in different regions around the globe. This permits users to collaborate with each other based on real time situations and real time data and make decisions accordingly. This VSM software will also allow for proper management of facilities that are in multiple different time zones in one unified graphical user interface. Vidsys Enterprise allows for users to be in multiple places at once—an incredibly valuable asset to have in the current security landscape.

Additionally, Vidsys Enterprise has a feature called EBI, or Enterprise Business Intelligence. EBI will give users real-time, dynamic metrics of all the data that is being gathered in their environment. It will also provide users with visualization of this data in any language in real-time. This will serve as a very valuable tool for executives, directors and supervisors trying to understand what is happening within their organization around the world and across their industry.

Finally, Vidsys developed a featured called Enterprise Data Visualization (EDV) that allows users to visualize all internal and external sensor data. This could be coming from weather, geological data, supply chain management, or calls from the media or public that identify a threat. EDV software has the ability, using APIs and SDKs, to tie together social media analytical engines that will be able to correlate information based on time, location, duration, frequency and type. When there is an event—say, a gunshot that’s near an office building—the Vidsys software will be able to notify those employees, help with the evacuation and notify anyone else that has the ability to respond to the situation. The Vidsys EDV feature will be another game changer in helping to provide real time analysis of both internal and external assets and threats.  Vidsys software essentially functions as a “workforce multiplier” because it allows smaller teams to make larger impacts on data management projects. As a result, both time and expenses are diminished.

In the current digital climate where time, cost and security are so important, the need for a converged security solution such as CSIM will becoming increasingly essential for protecting company assets, streamlining organizational efficiency, and utilizing important data to improve overall success.

Why CSIM Is A Workforce Multiplier

In the current digital age, it is paramount for businesses to have streamlined, effective, and intelligent security management systems that ensure sustained safety for an organization. Just as imperative as the security system itself, however, is making the most of the time and money a company spends on security software.

The right software platform can be a workforce multiplier for organizations who invest in it. The term “workforce multiplier” was used by the City of Houston to describe the impact from software that can perform the functions of many people at once at a greater speed and without human error. This, of course, improves organizations’ efficiency and reduces the amount of required resources.

At Vidsys, we’ve achieved a strong track record of private and public sector customers who have enjoyed a significant return in investment—both financially and in terms of staff resources—from our CSIM (Converged Security & Information Management) platform. We empower organizations with a large physical footprint—places like hospitals, enterprises and government campuses—to consolidate their security data management into a single user interface.

For example, Vidsys CSIM enabled a Fortune 50 company to maintain its security force head count, even though it has doubled the size of its physical campus in the last five years. This company also realized a 66% reduction in response time and a 50% reduction in false alarms from access control systems.

Additionally, we’ve helped several transportation agencies cut the time it takes to resolve a traffic accident by nearly 50 percent, enabling the swifter clearing of major traffic incidents and reducing the risk of follow-on accidents and injuries. The time, money and staff savings that result from this are exponential. Several major cities have experienced enhanced collaboration among multiple police and EMS responders, resulting in a faster resolution of incidents and higher percentages of apprehension.

For organizations seeking operator training efficiency, our platform aids in creating a consistent process because employees are trained on one system—the Vidsys interface—which integrates numerous sub-systems. This also means employees become proficient on the Vidsys platform faster, and their consistency and accuracy is enhanced.

In conclusion, our CSIM software acts as an efficient workforce multiplier, allowing corporations to gain an edge on the competition and provide the gold standard in security management and data correlation.

To learn more or receive a CSIM demo, you can sign up here.

Breaking Down The Top Trend In Security For 2016

Over the decade that Vidsys has worked in the security industry, we have seen a giant shift in the way organizations structure and run their security platforms. The creation of the title “Chief Information Security Officer” (CISO) was necessary to encompass the role of overseeing the security and management of information and company assets. The CISO role has become one of the key decision makers within an organization, as he or she is responsible for ensuring that security initiatives align with a business’ programs and objectives, as well as that all business technology is adequately protected. Over time, these responsibilities have shifted to identifying, developing, implementing and maintaining security-related processes that reduce the organization’s operational risk.

At ASIS International this year, there was a key focus on the CISO’s role. One of the key sessions called, “CISO Impact: Driving Security into the Business” explored the importance of a CISO’s team and overall impact on business success. The growth of the CISO role signals the merging of physical and cybersecurity, and Vidsys’ technology is at the center of this movement.

Vidsys was founded on our first platform, Physical Security Information Management (PSIM), designed to help law enforcement make educated decisions by continuously and instantly correlating vast amounts of data gathered from any number or virtually any type, brand or generation of physical security system or sensor, as well as from networked management applications.  As technology has rapidly evolved, we saw the need for further security integration with IT to create better solutions across all company assets.

When it comes to Integrated IT and Physical Security, Vidsys is moving in lockstep with how the two disparate functions are becoming one.

Vidsys sits at the intersection of physical and cyber, and our CSIM platform encapsulates the solutions needed to drive better situational awareness, real-time data correlation, and actionable information that can do everything from improving business efficiency to potentially saving lives. Our CSIM software takes the premise of PSIM, but enhances it through geospatially aligning information and assets into a single user interface. The rules engine and workflow tools give management the ability to pre-determine what data should be correlated and what should be filtered out based on time, location, duration, frequency and type. Since it’s programmed to present potential situations for evaluation, it’s an extremely valuable tool for CISOs to implement within their organizations.

With greater connectivity and the growth of IoT and Smart Cities, the merging of physical and IT security is essential to creating smarter, safer cities. A key part of this transformation will be in the hands of security leaders, proving the role of the CISO more important now than ever.

How Corporations Can Manage Campus Security Across The Globe

Corporate campuses present a unique and ongoing security challenge. Organizations must manage localized, detailed processes in addition to a diverse ecosystem of technologies such as access control, identity management, mass notification, video surveillance, inter-campus communications and business intelligence. Many corporate campuses consist of large groups of close-proximity buildings that host employees as well as sensitive customer and financial data, which can lead to concerns about security tactics. Organizations must monitor a multitude of risks, including insider threats, natural disasters, terror attacks, cyber-attacks and intellectual property theft. To add to this growing data collection and analysis, corporations must also be aware of activities taking place in the surrounding areas near the campus location. In situations where time is of the essence, it is imperative that a potential crisis be quickly recognized so that appropriate responses can immediately be deployed.


Vidsys’ Converged Security and Information Management (CSIM) software platform is equipped to address these needs and more. Our integrated platform allows us to seamlessly incorporate our software with a company’s specific compliance standards to make the organization run more efficiently and securely. Operating through an open architecture platform that uses a browser-based interface to share information, Vidsys creates a common operating picture across security systems, building management systems, and IT systems—all of which are major components to keeping a corporate campus operating smoothly and securely.


The updates included in the newest release of our CSIM software platform, Vidsys Enterprise 2017, are especially relevant for corporate campuses. The capabilities go beyond security and risk management by offering insights that can drive intelligent business decisions.


First, through Virtual Situation Management (VSM), corporations can keep track of their various locations in real-time, as the software is intelligent enough to read specific business “situation” requirements. A situation is created when input data based on specific organizational criteria is flagged as a risk. This could be through video footage or sensors at a corporate campus entry point, monitoring suspicious behavior at a large event, or tracking access to classified areas or data through identity management. The new enhanced situational awareness afforded by these capabilities enables organizations to better manage situations across their enterprise anytime and anywhere. This is a major boon for corporate campuses responsible for managing operations and offices in multiple locations around the globe.
In addition, the Enterprise Data Visualization (EDV) component is particularly compelling, as it pulls in third-party open source data and correlates it to the organization’s internal data points. This means that risk data generated around the customer’s environment can be analyzed to notify organizations of potential impacts on their personnel, resources, facilities and brand. By pulling and correlating data from both open source technology and social media inputs, organizations can monitor unhappy customer or employee fodder via social media and take the appropriate actions to respond. It also allows enterprises to make adjustments at the corporate level to identify and rectify the situation.
Building off of this data, the Enterprise Business Intelligence (EBI) platform allows customers to pull all of this data through a single dashboard to assemble reports of the relevant, correlated data occurring within their organizations. Reporting is flexible and scalable to the end user, thus providing customers the ability to utilize data for resource allocation and budgeting and the support of operations including building management systems and supply-chain systems. For corporate campuses, this could identify problems with workplace and communication issues and flag questionable processes so that businesses can make educated decisions.
As companies expand regionally, nationally, and globally, having a corporate security platform that is flexible, mobile and intelligent will create a strong base for the company’s safety, efficiency, and success.

Explore Our Safe City Global Security Operations Center

This month at ASIS 2016 we presented the Safe City Global Security Operations Center (GSOC), a consortium comprised of industry leading companies with best-of-breed technologies, to showcase our integrated security and smart city solutions. The consortium included Hikvision, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Salient Systems and Viscount Systems, and focused primarily on industry-specific use cases such as Public Safety, Corporate Campus Security, and Transportation. Through the demonstrations, we were able to show our partners and customers how our technologies are integrated to create a comprehensive solution.

In case you weren’t able to make it to the demonstration, we wanted to give you a closer look at what we showcased at ASIS, and how these solutions can impact your organization.

The Safe City Partners 2016-09-12-08-56-51-1


Hikvision provides the video cameras and hardware that we use to capture footage in real-time for analysis.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) pulls and stores the copious amounts of data that we need in order to analyze and correlate the information to provide actionable insights to our clients.

Salient Systems

Salient Systems has a Video Management Software (VMS) platform that offers a “Complete View” feature that pulls footage from existing cameras to improve video management and forensic investigations.


Our Converged Security Information Management (CSIM) software monitors and manages physical and IT assets to collect, analyze, verify, resolve and track information.  The rules engine and workflow tools give management the ability to pre-determine what data should or shouldn’t be correlated using filtering rules based on time, location, duration, frequency and type. The software is programmed to identify and flag potential situations for the command center operator.

Viscount Systems

Viscount provides integrated security solutions that unify access control across physical and digital platforms.

Step Into the GSOC

vidsys-operations-center-2What does a Safe City look like? Here are a couple of examples from our demonstration:

The concept of a Safe City is built on the premise of security technology combined with a Smart City infrastructure, which includes technology, sensors, and integrated data connectivity. The building blocks of a successful smart city are public safety and security as well as transportation infrastructure.

Smart Mobility and Transportation are driving growth for cities. For example, the City of New York launched a program to improve its wireless communications to help with public safety, and the infrastructure is now available for smart city concepts to interconnect all of the city traffic lights and share this data with a central hub to improve traffic flow and driver safety. When it comes to smart transportation, it means having the ability to collect fares more efficiently and provide advanced warnings to citizens of a potential accident or emergency in train or metro stations or on the road.

Smart Security & Safety

In the case of an emergency, a strong technology platform infrastructure is essential for city governments and organizations. Creating a proactive response plan and GPS and location-based assets to improve response times will make law enforcement, government officials and citizens better prepared. In order to make the most of the data (from video cameras and sensors, entry access ID, geospatial mapping, social media, etc.), data correlation is key. This is where our technology is able to provide the best, most useful insights and alerts to our users in order to better inform decision makers and provide response plans during major events.

Overall, the Safe City GSOC at ASIS was a huge success, stimulating important discussions about the need for Safe City infrastructures across the globe. We look forward to working with our partners to bring this demonstration to other conferences in the future as well as presenting some of the exciting projects we have underway.

Why Social Media Is Key To Creating A Converged Security Platform

In today’s world, the power of social media is far reaching and significant, turning individuals into walking sources of data collection and information, with single messages or posts becoming accessible by anyone from anywhere within a matter of seconds. According to the annual Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report, 91 percent of U.S. consumers say their mobile phone is very important, just as important as their car (91 percent) and deodorant (91 percent), and significantly more important than television (76 percent) and coffee (60 percent).

When approaching safety and security, especially on a large scale, such as with enterprises, hospitals, special events or government campuses, many organizations look at the most obvious needs – physical security and cybersecurity – without considering a more converged approach that combines physical security monitoring along with IT. Even more surprising is that many organizations underestimate the power of using social media to track real-time security updates and events.

At Vidsys, we believe in implementing a converged platform that analyzes and correlates open source data with physical security data in order to provide a safe and secure environment. Below are a few of the advantages to this approach when handling emergency response situations


In the case of an incident, it is imperative to recognize the situation quickly so that the appropriate corrective actions can be implemented before it spins out of control. CSIM software makes this possible through an open architecture platform that integrates big data analytics tools, social media and other intelligence inputs to address both internal vulnerabilities and external threats. Quick access to the right data at the right time is key to addressing and resolving any situation.


With CSIM, organizations can combine physical security with information technology to provide a more holistic evaluation of a security situation.  Sensor data, video data, identity and access data, GPS and geospatial data, and social media data are among the key sources of information from which to derive actionable intelligence. Formally integrating these previously disparate security aspects of the physical and IT components into a converged security environment is a natural evolution in our increasingly networked world.  This improved capability allows organizations to correlate data in a more efficient way.


Mobile devices can also be thought of as sensors that can be leveraged in a security environment, enabling employees or social media users to both access and share data while also providing real-time, critical information. Employees can also send real-time updates to a larger group of people so that the closest responder to each group can act appropriately.


A CSIM platform can convert both physical and open source data into meaningful and actionable information via business rules that correlate the data based on time, location, duration, frequency, and type. Financial losses due to a security incident can vary widely and it can be challenging to calculate in advance the financial impacts associated with loss of productivity, loss of customer business, legal fees and reputational damage.

Vidsys CSIM enabled a Fortune 50 company to maintain its security force head count even though it has doubled the size of its physical campus in the last five years. This company realized a 66% reduction in response time and a 50% reduction in false alarms from access control systems.  A major municipal transit agency using Vidsys CSIM saved millions of dollars by procuring security systems through a competitive bid process with multiple awards to multiple vendors. Vidsys CSIM’s open architecture enables end users to integrate multiple disparate systems from any brand, platform or device (such as social media) thereby increasing buying power and leverage on new projects.

As social media continues to grow and evolve, we are embracing these new capabilities and integrating them into our enterprise platform to create the best possible solutions to help our customers become safer, smarter, and more efficient.
Click here to request a demo to learn more about how social media can integrate with your physical security environment through Vidsys’ CSIM platform.

Vidsys Enterprise 2017 Announcement

Posted by Ted Kim

We are excited to announce the newest release of our Converged Security and Information Management (CSIM) software platform, Vidsys Enterprise 2017.  These updates include enhanced capabilities for supporting enterprise customers, such as an improved data visualization module to correlate open source and social media data, a business intelligence dashboard to provide both real-time and historic reporting data, and enhanced capabilities for supporting customers with multiple and distributed facility locations.    

As the market leader in Physical Security Information Management (PSIM), this new platform update extends our position as the leader in the burgeoning CSIM marketplace.  

The Vidsys Enterprise 2017 Platform includes three major enhancements to the software’s functionality:

  • Virtual Situation Management (VSM): The Virtual Situation Management solution gives customers the ability to better manage locations that are distributed locally, regionally, nationally and globally. VSM provides a consolidated, dashboard view of situations across multiple, independent Vidsys Enterprise servers, significantly improving reporting capabilities across all subsystem data.
  • Enterprise Data Visualization (EDV): The Enterprise Data Visualization dashboard allows for the receipt and correlation of risk data generated outside the customer’s environment to notify them of potential impact to their personnel, resources, facilities, and brand. The platform pulls and correlates data from open source technology and social media inputs.
  • Enterprise Business Intelligence (EBI): The Enterprise Business Intelligence tool allows customers to pull data through a single dashboard and create reports on the data that is created. This functionality is useful for end users to better understand the status of data points that are occurring within their environment. The enhanced reporting module is flexible and scalable to the end user, and provides customers the ability to utilize data for budgeting and resource allocation.

While security will continue to be a core functionality of our software platform, CSIM enables Vidsys to extend its capabilities beyond physical security by capturing and correlating data from multiple non-security systems as well. Customers can leverage the platform to support operations for a wide variety of applications, such as cybersecurity, manufacturing and supply-chain systems, and building management systems.

“The Vidsys Enterprise 2017 release represents a major milestone for the company as we continue to innovate and evolve our software beyond security to a virtualized services platform,” said James I. Chong, CEO of Vidsys. “Expanding IoT application requires enterprise organizations to manage data from a wide range of inputs. We are excited to continue our close partnership with our integrators and end-customers around the world who are extending our platform to deliver services of every kind, including Smart Security, Smart Transportation, Smart Buildings, and even Smart & Safe Cities.”

The new updates provide customers with enhanced global situational awareness capabilities and the ability to better manage situations across their enterprise from any location in the world. For many organizations, this is an essential element for effective global operations, as managing campuses across the globe requires the ability to process and correlate large amounts of data quickly in order to enable smarter and faster decisions in emergency situations.  A main component of these improvements is the Virtual Situation Management (VSM) dashboard feature, which provides a consolidated view of situations across multiple customer locations.  

In addition to the software version upgrades, we are also rolling out an updated pricing model tailored to businesses seeking a Software as a Service (SaaS) approach.  The SaaS pricing model alternative will allow Vidsys to better align its licensing and services with its customers’ procurement requirements.  

Through the Virtual Situation Management, Enterprise Data Visualization, and Enterprise Business Intelligence enhancements, as well as the new SaaS pricing model, Vidsys looks forward to helping its customers improve their functionality and efficiency, creating smarter cities and safer communities across the globe.

Vidsys Team Profile: Biking to Raise Awareness for Multiple Sclerosis

The BP MS 150 is a two-day fundraising bike ride organized by the National MS Society. The ride is the largest event of its kind in North America with 13,000 cyclists, 3,500 volunteers and countless spectators along the route and at the finish line in Austin. Last year’s BP MS 150 raised $20.3 million dollars, and in 2016, they are hoping to break that.

tony bike

Individuals, as well as many public and private companies form teams to raise funds and cycle. For example, a couple of Vidsys’ clients and partners, ExxonMobil and HPE, had teams who participated this year (see the full list here.) This year, I signed up as an individual racing on behalf of Vidsys to show our support.

People who ride in Bike MS may do so to support family members, friends, or coworkers who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. But, there are also legions of participants who live—and ride—with the disease, despite challenges such as fatigue or weakness. The “I Ride with MS” program hosts Bike MS events like this one across the country, with the goal of raising financial support through donations as well as awareness about the disease.

This year, the second day was cancelled due to the severe weather that hit the Houston area, but we still managed to make the most out of the first day, finishing 90 miles of the 150 planned. Overall it was an awesome experience to enjoy the great outdoors and support those battling map

Thank you to everyone from the Vidsys team and beyond who supported our ride over the weekend. If you are interested in getting involved or donating, visit the BP MS 150 website here to learn more.

About Tony

Tony Vazquez brings over 15 years of technical and customer engagement experience to his Vidsys role of VP Product Development & Integration. He manages key technology partner relationships and oversees all development and integration activities for Vidsys.  


Vidsys Nominated for Northern Virginia Tech Council Hot Ticket Awards

Vidsys is excited to announce that we have been nominated for the Northern Virginia Tech Council’s (NVTC) Hot Ticket Awards for 2016. NVTC is the largest technology council in the nation, serving 1,000 companies and organizations; including businesses from all sectors of the technology industry, service providers, universities, foreign embassies, non-profit organizations and government agencies.  The Hot Ticket Awards showcase the most innovative companies in the Greater Washington region’s tech community who have exhibited great vision as well as the ability to innovate, grow, and excel in their respective markets.

Taking place in June, the 2016 NVTC Hot Ticket Awards will combine the hottest companies and unbeatable networking with an exciting new element. For the first time, the awards will incorporate an online competition, with categories including Big Data and Analytics, Consumer and Enterprise, Cybersecurity and Safety, and Health IT and Wearables.

Vidsys was nominated in the Cybersecurity and Safety category for our innovative approach to physical security that has evolved to include the ability to address the needs of Information Technology and other market areas.  

While our PSIM solution has been used in a security context by Fortune 500 companies, municipalities, US and international governments, military agencies, and special events, it is increasingly being used to support business process needs such as in manufacturing, healthcare administration, property management, retail and many others.  Our platform’s ability to provide data correlation along with a visualization layer, makes our solution particularly well-suited to the explosive growth of IoT.  Our Converged Security and Information Management (CSIM) platform integrates data and events from cyber security, building management, utilities, supply chain management, social media and other IoT-based sensors. These capabilities position us in a new and more competitive technology area.

Voting opens June 6th and will stay open until June 9th. Click here to vote on The Washington Post!

We look forward to participating in this event and promoting the groundbreaking tech innovation happening in Northern Virginia and across the Washington region.