In the United States, roughly half of criminal offences that happen on college or university campuses are burglaries. This statistic is very high, and it’s most likely because of campus environments that promote openness for all and full access to buildings. By knowing this, how can campus security improve their building access while still allowing an open culture?
There are many factors to a full campus security plan, including visitor procedures, badges, escorts, and lockdown drills. One key part of campus security is access control, which includes the perimeter security, point of entry protocols, and policies. It sets the tone right away for who can access the facilities, how they can do so, and the best practices of the campus. Here are three ways that universities and colleges are using technology for access control to find the balance between security and openness.
Building Automatic Door Schedules on Campus
It’s normal to want to be more efficient and to automate a lot of different manual tasks. This is one of the main reasons why campus security at many different colleges and universities are opting for solutions for intuitive access control. This allows the security team to set different doors for classrooms and buildings to lock or unlock automatically based on a set schedule. By using this schedule, students and staff can access these locked rooms or entire buildings only with special permission. This allows security teams to stay focused on more important tasks that require human involvement, like responding to a breach or a door left open.
This system also allows security teams to build in extra levels of validation for different rooms. Whether there’s a science lab or IT room and hazardous chemicals or expensive equipment is housed in that room, automated access control includes these extra layers of security. This can take the form of a biometric reader for authentication at the door, or visually verifying access cards via a live video stream to the security office on a specific platform. These systems are already in use by certain colleges and universities in the United States.
Managing Cardholder Permissions More Easily
It can take a lot of time and work to set permissions for access cards to many different students, but this is another step that can be automated for a more smooth and efficient process. Records systems for student and staff cardholders can be added to a security center platform with certain system rules like giving automatic access to students in certain classes or programs. When each semester starts, students will automatically get the right privilege for access based on their schedule in the system.
Security center platforms already exist which can break down access to hundreds of different access groups. This can be different based on buildings, student or staff, and hours of access. Not only can this make campuses safer and more secure, but it can also ease student enrolment.
Improving Visibility Through a Unified Approach
Unified view is a great tool to increase campus visibility and make a campus more secure. Security team operators in a centralized control center can look at live video surveillance, access control, run license plates through recognition systems automatically, and tap in to police radio GPS, all in a unified view of a campus map. This includes notification alarms when a person is trying to access a building without the right permissions. This will show the operators a live video of the event and the cardholder information (if applicable) so they can see what’s happening and decide the next steps. There is also the possibility of integrating an intercom so the security team can speak with the individual and find out what the issue is or send someone to assist.
There are also video surveillance recordings in buildings that are open 24/7, such as cafeterias and dining halls, libraries, and other common areas. This allows more information in the case of investigations after an event occurred. Security center lets security teams have a comprehensive, unified platform so they can quickly and efficiently to any incident that happens on campus.
Security teams sometimes have a hard time finding a good balance between having a secure campus and promoting openness. By using advanced technology solutions for access control, campus security teams have more control over the access to campus and can react better to different situations. This will ultimately help students and faculty members feel safe but also in a non-intrusive way as they move around campus from classrooms to dorm rooms and athletic facilities.
Aimee Laurence, a tech journalist at Dissertation Help Service and Essay Writing Services, writes to her audience about technology advancements and their impacts on different industries. In her free time, Aimee works as a freelance editor for Assignment Help Brisbane.