Product profileProduct profile: Zone Multi Sensor Control Platform (MSCP)

Published 24 January 2008

An innovative solution from an Australian company allows security managers better direction and control of the organization’s security system and the information streams these systems generate; massively redundant peer-to-peer architecture has many benefits: flexibility, scalability, and cost savings on hardware and professional IT staff

Those in charge of in critical infrastructure facilities, sprawling campuses —  indeed, security managers anywhere — face a problem: The growing awareness of risks and threats, and of the growing sophistication and unpredictability of such threats, has lead more and more companies and organizations to invest large sums of money in surveillance and threat monitoring equipment. The law of supply and demand is working here: As demand is growing for security gear and solutions, more and more vendors develop and bring to market more — and more varied — security gear and solutions. There is an inherent problem here for the security manager: On the positive side, the increasing number of security offerings means that there is a greater variety of equipment to choose from and that prices fall. On the negative side, this means that a security manager has to worry about monitoring and integrating surveillance information from different types of gear produced by different manufacturers. There is an additional problem: As companies and organizations install more and more CCTVs, sensors, and other security devices, those in charge of security may be flooded by large amounts of information, creating the wheat-and-chaff problem. Especially during a crisis or emergency, security managers need to be able to zoom in on the trouble spot, order information-gathering devices to turn this way or that in order to focus on the suspicious event and its location, and more. As importantly, security managers need a system which will incorporate legacy equipment already installed — and which will not be dependent on expensive equipment or on an IT staff to change over servers in case one server goes down at a critical time. This is a long wish list, but this is also where an Australian company named Zone Advanced Protection Systems comes in.

The company has developed a solution the name of which — Multi Sensor Control Platform (MSCP) — suggests an awareness of the problems today’s security manager faces. The product was originally developed for and deployed by agencies of the Australian government, and U.S. government agencies have seen a demonstration of an early version of the product during the development phase. What MSCP does is allow users to integrate all facets of on-site security, including third party systems, into one common, easy-to-use control platform. MSCP is a manufacturer-agnostic control platform, capable of monitoring and controlling devices from practically any manufacturer. The system’s open