In recent years, it seems as though there’s always been a scary story in the media about intruders and harmful individuals accessing school campuses. As such, it’s no wonder that many post-secondary institutions are continuously looking for ways to keep their students and staff safe.
Access control measures help create a safe environment for all. Here are some effective ways to strengthen access control on campus.
Analyze Current Weaknesses
It’s important to start with a thorough analysis of existing weaknesses or problem points before implementing improvements.
Conduct a comprehensive security audit to identify vulnerabilities in your access control system. This involves a physical inspection of the campus to identify potential access points and security gaps, as well as an examination of existing security policies and procedures.
Engage the experts and gain feedback from both onsite security professionals, independent consultants, students, and faculty to identify any concerning areas or behavior.
This process will help key stakeholders create a prioritized improvement plan.
Consider implementing automation as a key driver in campus access control. According to Genetec, adding features like automatic door schedules or alert systems for unauthorized access will help create better campus visibility and a unified view.
Automation and centralization go hand-in-hand. Ensure the tools and systems you implement can communicate seamlessly with one another to secure consistency in all areas of the campus.
Develop a Comprehensive Access Plan
Implementing a comprehensive access control plan will help secure your campus through a combination of physical and technological measures. Physical technologies, like video cameras and keycards, are a start, but staff buy-in and education are crucial for success.
It’s also integral to incorporate access control around sensitive data and programs to prevent fraudulent activity and catastrophic data loss. While cybersecurity may not have the same physical implications, it’s a real threat in our digitally-driven society.
Without proper education, even the most comprehensive access control plan can be rendered ineffective. Develop clear policies and procedures for access control and ensure that they are communicated effectively to all campus community members.
Develop an awareness campaign to help educate and empower all campus community members to participate and take ownership of their security. Staff and faculty should be made aware of the consequences of non-compliance. Students should be directed in the proper way to address security concerns.
Analyze and Adapt
One of the benefits of centralized, automated control access systems is that they capture useful data to help campuses adapt and increase security.
Create procedures to review access logs, when alarms are triggered, and overall user behavior. When it comes to campus security, it’s essential to be proactive. By familiarizing your team with the data and looking at it regularly, you increase the likelihood that they’ll catch a problem before it occurs.
27,300 criminal incidents were reported on campuses in 2019. This number marks a notable decrease from previous years, largely in part to developments in secure technologies. Even so, that number leaves much to be desired.
Implementing campus access control can help protect your students, staff, faculty, and data from people with malicious intent.