School and campus security has never been a higher priority for administrators than it is now. The news regularly covers dangerous or even deadly security breaches in schools nationwide, leaving teachers, students, and parents concerned about campus safety. As a result, the push toward tighter security measures has generated a new smart campus solution worth exploring.
When it comes to securing academic institutions, one of the biggest challenges is balancing the daily convenience students and staff require with the need for a smart and secure access control system. To this end, new technology is making it possible to streamline student identification while shoring up potential gaps in campus security.
But as with any new technology, the potential uses of this new smart access system aren’t yet widely known. So, let’s review the latest advances in security technology for schools and colleges.
Cloud-based Security System Solutions: Securing Smart Campus Facilities
Cloud integration for controlled access has become one of the most prominent advances in the field. Moving to remotely managing and centralizing access control gives administrators a more comprehensive oversight of campus activity. Plus, response times to potential breaches in the smart access system are quicker.
Remote access control systems connect mobile apps or digital student IDs to a cloud database via Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth mobile access technology.
With a mobile access system, authorized individuals can access physical spaces with their phone and a digital mobile door credential. Not only is this more convenient for students and staff, but it also eliminates the security risk of carrying—and potentially losing—multiple cards.
Overall, the result is a convenient security system that separates out unauthorized individuals. And because permissions can easily be updated or altered, security teams can quickly alter access control in response to an incident.
Sentry Interactive provides its cloud-based access control solution, which sits on top of the existing access control infrastructure that is already installed within the Campus and its individual buildings. The historic legacy access control panels and readers can remain in situ, so there’s no need to worry about expensive and extensive ‘rip and replace’ installation and new hardware costs. Sentry Mobile Access integration and installation for smart campus access can be carried out remotely and works with all major access control brands.
Smart Campus Access Security: Encryption and Multi-Factor Authentication
Initially, administrators may hesitate to adopt a cloud-based smart campus solution because of the potential vulnerabilities of data stored online. But this perception of the cloud as an unsecured repository is largely outdated.
For instance, smart campus solutions use encryption to scramble data and make it unreadable. Administrators can return this information to its original format with a specific key as needed. In this way, they keep potential hackers from accessing private data.
Smart solutions also identify users through two different means. This provides an additional roadblock to a digital student or staff impersonator. In general, the system will first require a user to submit their password. Then, the user will receive a code via an email to input before gaining access to the application. This way, hackers can’t break into portals with just a password.
By leveraging these additional security features, smart campus systems provide a robust, multi-layered digital system. Cloud-based access controls keep everyone but authorized users out of both physical and digital spaces.
In fact, smart access systems such as Sentry Mobile Access were developed by two of the leading UK banking and financial services developers and so have the highest banking-grade encryption protocols at the heart. Data is audit logged, encrypted at rest, and fully PII and GDPR compliant, combined with multi-factor authentication and permission-based hierarchical security, and you have the foundations for the best in class in secure mobile access control.
Streamlined Student Identification: From Digital ID Cards to Digital Credentials
More schools and colleges are replacing traditional physical cards with digital IDs. This is another important component of their upgraded security ecosystem.
Digitizing IDs lets institutions centralize their student access data and permissions. This doesn’t just increase response times to incidents; it also gives administrators greater oversight of campus usage. Basically, it creates a singular information repository for each ID that incorporates multi-factor authentication methods, such as biometrics or PINs, to strengthen security safeguards.
This system also lets administrators tie campus activities like event tickets, attendance information, and even payment processing to each student’s digital ID. As a result, institutions can gather a wealth of critical student behavioral data to personalize student experiences further.
Finally, digital IDs can reduce overhead costs by eliminating the need for physical cards or badges. Specifically, it cuts the costs associated with printing, distributing, and replacing the cards. Institutions can then repurpose the resources normally allocated to managing physical student IDs for other tasks.
Digital Room Booking and Resource Management: Optimizing Campus Facilities
One of the least-known but most impactful benefits of a smart campus access system is the ability to manage and facilitate a room booking process that’s more streamlined and less labor-intensive for administration. Users can easily access up-to-the-minute room availability information to eliminate scheduling conflicts. Plus, institutions can integrate booking capabilities with digital calendars to make it easy for authorized users to utilize campus spaces.
Users can then access their booked room via their mobile device or digital ID. This further simplifies the scheduling process while maintaining a strong security posture on campus.
These features also come with the added benefit of enabling space use analytics. Institutions can track user bookings and attendance to plan future resource allocation. The result is a more optimized use of campus spaces.
Source the Right Smart Campus System
The educational environment must be a safe and secure space to allow students to thrive. But the potential threat levels that many institutions face today are unparalleled.
Schools and universities should adopt smart campus security solutions that can combat the ongoing risks. Technology such as cloud-based mobile access control built with advanced features like banking level encryption and multi-factor authentication are essential to secure the safety of students and staff members.
Of course, institutions can’t allow this stricter security posture to disrupt the day-to-day operations of the school. Smart campus security solutions don’t just simplify access control for students and the university administration team; they go one step further to actually enhance the use of institutional resources through booking system integrations. In addition, the digital system’s capacity to tie class, seminar, event admissions and ticketing allocation and attendance to student IDs helps schools digitally organize and optimize their campus activities.
To garner all these benefits, administrators need advanced campus security technology. To this end, it’s important to source a mobile access control system carefully, as they’re the bedrock of smart campus security. Sentry Interactive provides leading mobile access control that combines advanced security features, that can be time-limited and defined by timetable through room booking and Microsoft and Google calendar integration.
Reach out today to learn more about our smart campus solutions.