Cypress founder and CTO Tony Diodato sees rapid acceptance of OSDP in the security industry
Cypress founder and CTO Tony Diodato was recently being named the 2021 recipient of the SIA Standards Service Award! On behalf of the members of the Security Industry Group we would like to congratulate Tony with that well-deserved award. And we thought this also to be a good time to catch up on the progress that is being made with OSDP, one of the themes in this industry that Tony is helping to move forward.
Cypress is known in the industry for driving the OSDP standard. We have explained OSDP to our audience before. But what do you believe are the biggest benefits coming from an OSDP adoption for manufacturers, integrators and end-users?
One of the biggest benefits of OSDP, as it pertains to connecting access control readers to their panels, is the addition of supervision and security. These 2 things have been somewhat lacking over the decades and Cypress has been providing those two solutions in addition to the normal acccess control installations. Of course, that involves a little extra money – of course we like it because it keeps us in business. But it should be inherent in the installation; it shouldn’t be an afterthought and certainly not an additional cost.
Adopting OSDP is a great benefit on the part of the end user. Once they specify it, they can be pretty sure that the installer and the manufacturers’ equipment will be compatible, there will be a lot less lost time in wrangling the incompatabilities, and overall just a better return on the investment for installations of access control equipment.
What would be typical tampering behavior that could be predicted? Does OSDP fit in the same category as current industry buzzwords like AI?
AI being used in the access control and security industry is a big benefit these days, and it can predict some criminal behavior. It can identify certain patterns in changes in building infrastructure, for example. What OSDP can bring to it is a means of collecting that data.
Before, especially with Wiegand installations, the data was one-way, it just went from the reader to the panel. You either got it or not, there was no “handshake,” there was no way to glean any information, the number of misreads, for example, or if a reader was offline. With OSDP we can get the supervision so we can know if a reader fell offline, we can actually know if someone is trying to tamper with the security or eavesdrop on that circuit, and it does create for the artificial intelligence engine, another vector, another means of collecting data.
How is the adoption rate of OSDP in the security industry progressing at the moment according to your observations?
One of my biggest delights, actually, is in the fact that OSDP is being accepted fairly rapidly in the industry. We have just – over the past, I’d say, 18 months – rolled out the OSDP Verified program which allows vendors/ manufacturers of the access control panel as well as readers and other peripherals, to submit their products for third-party validation, so then you can know that if the product has been tested by that indpendent organization that it will be more or less compatible across the board. I think this has really accelerated the acceptance and the adoption rate of OSDP in
the industry as a whole.
What are typical obstacles that manufacturers and integrators are facing when trying to adopt OSDP?
One of the key factors when creating the OSDP specification was to keep it as simple as possible, yet leave it open enough for enhanced functionality. Installers were very used to just having two wires to get the signaling from the peripheral to the access control panel, so we kept it that way, we just introduced a more intelligent means of doing that so it would be a bi-directional protocol. One of the hurdles is making sure that installers especially understand that yes, it’s the same two wires but there’s a lot more going on over those 2 wires. They have to be cognizant of a few key elements when installing it.
Number 1, the termination resistors may need to be added. This is something that may be a little bit new but other than the wiring, it’s the pretty much the same as it always was. Twisted pair is recommended; there are a lot of variances on the speed that you can communicate vs. the length of the wire, and the type of wire that will accommodate the signal.
How do your solutions help overcome those obstacles?
Cypress provides a wide variety of OSDP migration devices. These devices were intentionally designed to retrofit to existing access control systems, so as new OSDP peripherals become available, yet the access control panels may not be up to date to acommodate them. We put in some middleware that we provide that will allow those new devices to work with legacy systems.
Are there pitfalls to watch out for when starting to work with OSDP?
In gaining a lot of the advantages that OSDP brings, there’s a little bit of education that needs to be done in the industry for the installer; it’s not a lot, it’s just a preconfiguration step as well as just being aware that there’s a bidirectional communication going on, as well as a unidirectional communication that was there previously. It’s still two wires but what’s going on those two wires is a lot different than it was before, so therefore the quality of the wire is now much important than it ever was, as well as maintaining the integrity of that wire.
Are there current or expected developments related to the OSDP standard that the industry should be aware of?
Some of the more recent developments in OSDP has been that fact that number 1, it’s an international standard, IEC standard, this has really enhanced the acceptance worldwide. The OSDP Verified program has now been adopted by SIA and there are a few third-parties that have already stepped up to create testing labs.
Can you share some of the plans you have with OSDP related to your portfolio?
Some of the more unique future products that we have in mind include installation tools for installers to make their lives a little bit easier, since there is a little bit of configuration step when implementing OSDP. We’ve also taken on some challenges and come up wtih some unique solutions around using fiber optic, wireless and Ethernet for transporting the OSDP protocol.
And in addition to product development, we are also being asked to specify OSDP into nontraditional security applications. Of course security pretty much permeates all industries, but actually using OSDP in the industry itself. So in other words for robotics, it’s not just a robot talking to a door or talking to an access control panel, which we’ve already done, but the onboard robot systems are also speaking OSDP amongst themselves.
Thanks very much Tony for sharing these insights. Good luck with your business!