Security has become an intrinsic part of our everyday lives, and we can expect it to become even more present and ever-more discrete both inside and outside our residential and commercial buildings. The main purpose of security solutions in the education sector is to protect faculty & student information along with intellectual property, keeping it safe, secure, and private. In recent years, educational institutions have increasingly asked how to best protect their physical and remote campuses and are looking closely at their security systems and investing in technology to help keep students, professors, and administrators safe.
One common strategy is turning to technology and electronic security systems (ESS) to improve the safety of the campuses. Regardless of the size of the campus, its location or the level of security risks that need to be addressed, there are essential components of an electronic security system. These include intrusion detection, access control, and video surveillance. These three systems, in the hands of competent and capable security staff, apply technology effectively to reduce crime and protect people and property on campus.
The industry has moved toward digital and networked systems, megapixel cameras and is currently addressing issues related to digital video evidence and common communication protocols between different manufacturers’ products. The wide-ranging application of CCTV extends from simple scene monitoring to facial-recognition technology, remote video monitoring, video smoke detection, mobile systems, and automatic number-plate recognition. There is a growing trend for video analytic software, which can be programmed to intelligently analyze and respond to a changing scene. The use of 360-degree panoramic cameras as well as thermal infrared cameras, based on heat-sensitive sensors that can operate in complete darkness, are both expected to grow very strongly over the next few years. In video recording, there is a growing trend away from basic digital video recorders (DVRs) toward network video recorders (NVRs) and hybrid DVRs that can accept signals from both traditional analog cameras and the latest digital cameras.
In addressing the security issues, many educational institutions have noted that managing their electronic security systems (ESS) technology over large campuses can be overwhelming. Also, keeping all notes and floor plans organized with proper oversight of the maintenance and installation of these systems seems nearly impossible for vast residential campuses. Gaining an understanding and accurate plan of the security assets throughout the campus is a challenge – and a priority. Without a unified system for tracking devices such as video surveillance cameras, access control systems, intrusion detection, and even fire alarms, managing a campus security system can be difficult.
An effective way of limiting the potential damage of an insider threat poses – whether malicious or accidental – is to rigorously manage who has access to the network, and what they can and can’t do. Staff and students alike should only have limited access to the school’s network based on their requirements, reducing the opportunity for malicious or accidental misuse of the network. Managing user accounts should also include regularly reviewing what access individuals require, blocking access to some systems if individuals no longer need them, and deleting users when they leave the school.
Keeping security staff trained on separate, stand-alone systems can be challenging, but this must be addressed as a part of broader campus security objectives. The key systems of security are intrusion detection, access control, and video surveillance. If each of these systems is purchased separately, administration and training can burden a university’s resources. Intrusion alarms occur on one system, access badges are administered in a stand-alone database, and intelligent digital video technology runs on dedicated computer equipment. Each system requires service, maintenance, administration, and training. By integrating these separate security SYS/TEMS under a flexible building automation system (BAS), the institution’s management can lower upfront investment for a considerably more powerful security solution with installation and training occurring on a single system. This way operational costs like administration and maintenance are also reduced.