Since founding Mercury Security in 1992, our goal has always been to build a common security platform that affords our customers a combination of reliability and versatility in the context of an evolving security/IT landscape. In the late 90s, access control features such as event-based user feedback, the ability to handle smartcards, and encrypt messages from device to device were unavailable or extremely limited with the communication protocols readily available.

In the early 2000s we worked with a number of our industry partners to implement a number of third party protocols to interface their feature rich readers and other peripheral devices with our evolving control panels. We were able to meet customer requirements, but each implementation was different and took quite a bit of engineering support. To that end, in 2005, we teamed with various channel partners on an open protocol that would be able to connect control panels with various peripheral devices while unlocking the potential of the increasing onboard computing resources within the system. The result: Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP).

OSDP has two main advantages over previous access control communications methods:

  • it is a better communications approach (bi-directional, more secure, uses fewer wires, longer range, multi-drop,) and,
  • It offers unlimited application enhancements (direct biometric support, smart card interface, authentication, FIPS compliance, interactive terminal capabilities.)

With an ever-growing list of compatible devices from numerous companies, the OSDP specification was assigned to the Security Industry Association (SIA) in 2012. SIA is currently taking the specification through an open, balanced, ANSI Standards process and allowing industry to help make this valuable specification into a valuable standard. As an industry it is vital that we bring our customers as much capability as possible to fulfill their business requirements. OSDP certainly delivers toward the goals of Mercury and the promise of a more capable security industry.

I invite you to join Mercury Security and other access control providers on April 2nd as we demonstrate the promise of OSDP at the SIA OSDP Plugfest and Cocktail Reception @ ISC West 2014.