Smart Campus Security Solutions: Innovations for Educational Institutions

Learn how smart campus technologies allow schools to efficiently adopt rigorous access control security protocols without interrupting daily operations.

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.

two students entering a smart campus

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.

young child going to school in smart campus

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.

William Bainborough

Board of Directors

William is an experienced British entrepreneur, founder, and accomplished board executive and advisor for a number of businesses. He is the CEO and co-founder of Doordeck, the world’s only true cloud-based access control aggregator. He is also the managing director and founder of Group Secure, a leader in providing security, CCTV, and access control solutions, products, and installation for high-net-worth individuals in the UK. 

William established his first business at just seventeen and brings 20-plus years of in-depth experience and industry knowledge. He has a proven track record for building businesses from the ground up—and then leading them to profitability and a successful exit across a myriad of sectors including hospitality, retail, security, telecommunications, and e-commerce. William’s leadership, vision, and experience in creating cutting-edge SaaS-based technology platforms will prove invaluable for Sentry Interactive moving forward.

Denis Hébert

Denis Hébert


Hébert began his career at Honeywell International where he held several leadership positions including Managing Director for the Automation and Controls business in France and eventually President of the NexWatch Corporation from 1999-2002. Hébert led HID Global as President & CEO over a transformative 12-year period from 2002-2015, where he provided strategic guidance and grew the business tenfold through a mix of strong organic and acquisitive growth. Most recently, Hébert was President of Feenics Corporation which is a cloud-based access control company that was successfully sold to ACRE LLC at the end of 2021. Hébert also served on the Board of Directors for the Security Industry Association (SIA) from 2009-2020 and was nominated to be Chairman of the Board for SIA from 2016-2018. He is currently Chairman of the Board for Nightingale Security based in Newark, CA.

Stephen Taylor Matthews

Board of Directors
Stephen is a very accomplished attorney, member of the Texas State Bar, licensed commercial real estate broker, and an avid philanthropist. He is an experienced executive board member, serving in leadership positions for more than 20 community councils and corporate boards—ranging from Boy Scouts of America to the ABBA Business Leaders Council, and most recently the American Bank BOD, the Real Estate Council of Austin, and the Marbridge Foundation BOT. With more than 35 years experience, Stephen and his firm, Barrond & Adler, L.L.P. are devoted to eminent domain cases in Texas.

Jon Davis

Board of Directors

Mr. Davis is an Experienced corporate board member, having served on boards of public, private equity-backed, and venture-backed companies. Jon possesses deep industry expertise in dairy, food processing, food technology and manufacturing, and food, beverage, and entertainment services. 

During Jon’s tenure of 25 plus years, he’s led operations, research and development, and mergers and acquisitions. He’s served as CEO and has been the founder and active board member for many successful enterprises—from startups to billion-dollar corporations. While COO and CEO of Davisco Foods International, Jon built a state-of-the-art cheese plant which was awarded the United States Dairy processing plant of the year in 2005 by Dairy Foods magazine. Currently, Jon is active with several non-dairy projects, including investments in local real estate, the Wayzata Brewworks, and his latest venture the new CōV restaurant in Edina’s Galleria.

Joe Caldwell

Founder and Chairman of the Board

Joe is an American entrepreneur, investor, and accomplished executive. He has co-founded, founded, and led many successful businesses, including US Internet, a leading fiber internet service provider, Securence, a leading provider of email filtering software, and Ravon, an industry-leading digital voice communications service. 

It was Joe’s venture, Municipal Parking Services (MPS), that inspired him in 2020 to start Sentry Interactive, an advanced touchless and staffless detection platform.

Caldwell currently serves as CEO and Chairman of the Board for Municipal Parking Services (MPS), a global tech company based in Austin, TX responsible for inventing and patenting technologies that assist in parking and security enforcement.

Joe was named one of Minnesota’s 500 Most Powerful Business Leaders for the past two years—and is a seasoned corporate board member. He’s served on boards of public, private equity-backed, and venture-backed companies—and has deep industry expertise in all aspects of digital technology.

Jason Bohrer

Jason Bohrer

Board of Directors

Jason Bohrer is one of the visionaries behind our mission to bring people back together safely and securely, in any environment, through Sentry’s advanced digital communications and detection platform. With over two decades of senior leadership experience, Jason’s track record of success spans across sales, operations, product innovation, strategy, and technology for domestic and global companies like Bexar Technology Partners, CPI Card Group, HID Global, and Motorola, Inc. Prior to launching Sentry Interactive, Jason was actively involved with several key technology transitions across multiple industries, including the contact and contactless EMV transitions in the U.S. payments industry and the adoption of smart card and mobile technologies in the global access and identity market. Jason was an inaugural member of the University of Chicago Executive Institute and holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin. He also serves as the Executive Director for two industry-leading not-for-profit organizations: the Secure Technology Alliance and the U.S. Payments Forum.
Brent Terry

Brent Terry

Chief Operating Officer
Brent Terry leads the operations and solutions organizations at Sentry. This includes all product innovation, development, and operations management. A veteran in the technology space, Brent has more than 30 years of experience across a myriad of industries, like physical security technology and building automation, SAAS, hardware and software product development, internet, digital TV, interactive TV, digital media, telecommunications, and medical products and services. Prior to Sentry, Brent has spun up successful startups and led high-performing teams for some of the biggest global, Fortune 500 companies, including ARRIS, Conerco, Motive Communications, SeaChange International, and IBM. Brent holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Louisiana. He also is the committee Chairman and Program Director for a non-profit organization responsible for the rollout of smart cards for physicians and first responders.