Campus Security: Re-Opening After the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic upended life as we knew it at the beginning of 2020. It forced everyone from employers to educators, and everyone in between, to find new ways of moving forward while maintaining public safety to limit community spread. However, we are now entering a new phase with society starting to reopen.

After closing your doors for a considerable amount of time, you will need to plan for your grand opening. Central to this planning should be safety and campus security. The pandemic has been an opportunity to learn new health and safety practices. Knowing how to apply them when you reopen will be key to keeping your employees and customers safe.

As a campus head, you should take the time to plan the security program for your operations after the pandemic. Here are a few tips to help you understand the security systems, policies, and procedures to consider for your reopening.

Campus Security Systems and Processes

Most workplaces are currently looking to leverage their existing security systems. This needs to happen to deal with the new health, safety, and security risks post-pandemic.  

Now more than ever, the following security measures are being examined in much closer detail:

  • Enhanced access control systems
  • Visitor management software
  • Human temperature detection systems

With more people working from home, employers are looking for ways to do campus security monitoring remotely. The increase in cloud-based technology use has also led to questions around network security

The pandemic has given them time to reflect on health, safety, and security issues. By identifying the existing gaps, you can understand what measures you need to take. Ensuring the safety of your teachers and your students is more important now than ever.

Revisiting Your Policies and Procedures

The pandemic will change how people interact with each other once your operation reopens. The best thing that you can do is set clear policies and procedures for your employees and customers. These can serve as guidelines on how they can protect themselves.

 Before reopening, you should address the following questions:

  1. Are you ensuring that any new policies and procedures are integrated with your campus security system? Have you included this as part of your draft plans to reopen your institution?
  2. As you revisit health, safety, and security protocols, have you developed policies and procedures that will correspond with these changes in the future?

You want to create a system where your campus security reinforces your campus policies. As such, changes to operating hours or visitor policies should be reinforced by your security. 

Here are some questions to serve as a guide on how you can leverage your current security:

  1. Are you going to revise your access control and door schedule policies?
  2. Does your visitor management software need to be updated by adding or removing screening questions?
  3. Can you get more out of your current surveillance system to help screen visitors or maintain social distancing?

Any changes that you make to your security procedures should be reflected by your security systems. 

Assessing the Impact of the Pandemic on Your Campus Security

Another key step to take is to understand how the pandemic may have affected your current campus security policies and procedures. 

Here are a few things to think about:

  1. Do you need to re-evaluate your security video retention policy?
  2. Have you developed standards around the use of your security systems?
  3. If so, how do you apply, maintain, and audit them?
  4. Who has permission to control and access these systems?

Instead of using completely new systems to ensure the health, safety, and security of your workplace, look at how you can leverage your existing campus security to keep everyone safe.

Looking Into the Future

The key to ensuring that your campus security is able to do what you need it to, you have to make sure that you create a flexible system. This pandemic has shown us how quickly things can change. Having security systems that are able to adapt to changing circumstances will definitely work to your advantage. Having robust, well thought out security in place will help you to address any challenges that may arise in the future. 

How All Campus Security Can Help You 

We specialize in providing customized campus security solutions. Regardless of the size of your company, we know how to help. Our passion lies in keeping businesses, schools, and organizations safe and secure – with the latest technologies. We offer a range of security services, which include:

  • Video surveillance installations
  • Access control systems
  • Structured cabling solutions
  • Fire alarm systems and inspections

Our years of experience in the industry give you the peace of mind in knowing that we can provide the campus security solutions that you need. So contact us today and let us help you keep your reopening safe and secure.

10 Ways to Enhance School Access Control

Schools around the world have to adjust to ‘the new normal’ brought about by COVID-19. This means modified operating hours, temporary closures, staff working remotely and changing visitor and occupancy policies. As school districts adapt, the need to keep in mind how their security systems can mitigate risks and reinforce district policies.  School access control is important.

For example, while organizations are increasingly concerned about managing who is on-site and when, access control systems can be critical.

Man Wearing Gray and Red Armour Standing on the Streets

Today we’ll be discussing 10 simple ways that organizations can enhance their school access control – both during this transitional period and beyond. 

1. Install door contacts at every exterior door.

Door contacts notify your security system when a door is open. Though this seems like a basic way to increase security, it’s actually less common than you think. While many organizations choose to install request-to-exit sensors and access control card readers, they often don’t include door contacts. These contacts ensure that your facility is properly secured. And, as they’re relatively inexpensive, they can be a cost-effective way to enhance your school access control.

2. Identify and limit entrances to ensure school access control.

One of the first things to pay attention to when discussing school access control is exactly where your entrances are. Each entrance is a potential vulnerability. Though for some organizations, like schools, it makes sense to have multiple entrances, each one literally opens the door to potential threats. 

Identify your main entry points and limit your entrances. You should only keep those that are absolutely necessary, as this will allow you to better monitor and control the flow of people entering and exiting your facility.

3. Remove entry hardware from all exterior doors not designated as an entrance.

After limiting your entrances, the next step is to secure all other exterior doors. Installing exit-only hardware  like cover plates on these doors is a simple and cost-effective way to do that. This is a relatively simple stick for organizations to take when they’re looking to increase their perimeter security.

4. Remove and dispose of any visible door props near exterior doors.

Prop objects, like a rock that props a door open for smokers, can significantly impact the effectiveness of your access control. Make sure you’ve removed any objects from the perimeter of your building which could act as door props. Installing door contacts on all exterior doors will also help to notify your security system when a door is open.

5. Modify your hours of operation within your access control system to reflect new COVID-19 policies.

In response to COVID-19, many organizations have either temporarily closed, or modified their hours of operation. These operational decisions and threat mitigation policies should reflect in their access control system. Closed schools and campuses should revisit their lock/unlock and alarm open/close schedules. This makes sure that the premisis is properly armed. Schools who have staff working from home should also suspend those individual’s access cards to reflect the change. 

6. Audit your access privileges.

Now is a good time to audit your access privileges. This way, you can make sure that the right people have access to the right areas of your facility, at the right time. Best practice for access control is to take a “Zero Trust” approach, which is exactly what it sounds like – organizations shouldn’t automatically trust anyone within their perimeter. While “Zero Trust” is a cybersecurity term, it is easily applicable to physical security. Basically, it means that no one should have more access than they need.   

Take the time to review exactly who has access to where. Revoke access for those who shouldn’t have it. Especially if you have any individuals whose cards should have expired but are still active in your system. These could be vendors, contractors or staff.

7. Collect spare keys, especially master keys.

Just as important as auditing your access control, you need to limit the number of people who have spare or master keys. Good key management is essentially for securing your property, assets and people efficiently. You should start by identifying what keys you have, where they are used and exactly who has access to them. Any requests for keys should be submitted and approved in writing – this provides a paper trail for your key records, which should be shared with your HR department. One of the biggest problems with key management is retrieving the keys of staff who no longer need them because they’ve left or moved to a different role. HR is the perfect department to deal with this.

Another important aspect of key control policy is outlining the process for reporting stolen or lost keys. You should encourage employees to report these immediately and provide a process for updating the key issuance log. 

8. Create custom and distinguishable alerts for sensitive areas.

Security and IT experts often receive hundreds of alerts every day. Alert fatigue, or becoming numb to these alerts, is extremely normal. One way to prevent this, and make sure no high-priority incidents go unnoticed, is to create a custom alert for specific doors or areas within your organization. All you need to do is add these sensitive areas to a group within your access control system and assign a higher priority alarm level and distinguishable color to these alerts. Then the security team will know that any alert of that color should be prioritized.

Though this won’t decrease the overall number of alerts the receive, it will help them to prioritize incidents, ultimately improving security.

9. Check all mechanical hardware of your doors.

Make sure that all doors, frames and hardware are both structurally sound and code-compliant. Clean the surfaces of your door hardware with non-corrosive solvent and make a note of whether physical or opening hardware – including the frame, threshold and hinges – are in need of repair.

10. Update your access control software.

Your access control system should stay up to date, in order to unlock security patches and new features and functionality. The importance of doing so was highlighted this year when Mercury Security issued a notice that a few of the LP intelligent controllers would not be able to properly handle leap year time calculations. This is a problem that would have “unknown effects on the functionality of the access control system.”

Though this seems scary, the solution is simple. Keep your firmware up to date. In most cases, simple updates can address many security vulnerabilities and ensure your system is functioning properly.

As your organization navigates the continued impact of COVID-19, these tips can help you identify opportunities for improving your perimeter security and enhancing your school access control.

Is Your Access Control System Secure?

Your access control system might not be as secure as you think it is. 

white and red sedan on road during daytime

It was once complicated and expensive for people to make copies of access control cards. But, people can now defeat access control systems with tools they find online. Even with a widely available product that costs only $20. Now, only access control systems making use of edge-to-edge encryption are truly secure.

Despite the awareness of these risks in the industry, it’s becoming easier and cheaper to defeat access control systems.

Most access control systems make use of contactless RFID proximity cards, which have historically used 125 kHz unencrypted communication. Unfortunately, these unencrypted cards are easy to duplicate. Most home improvement stores now have key duplication kiosks with RFID proximity card cloning capabilities. Just tap an encrypted card and the machine spits out a duplicate. 

This means that it is relatively simple to access facilities and assets that are ‘protected’ by a physical security system. 

Older access control readers that make use of the Wiegand communication protocol can be easily compromised. This is done through the same processes used by criminals to skim bank cards at ATMs. 

Over the past couple of years, the issues around access control and card readers have come to light. With advancements in modern technology, now anyone can buy a card duplicator online and clone unencrypted RFID cards to access a building. To keep operations safe, businesses will bolster encryption measures within access control systems to prevent these threats in 2020.” – Brad Konkle, Director of Integrated Solutions at STANLEY Security

Excerpt from STANLEY Security’s 2020 Industry Trends Report

Which Industries Use Access Control Systems?

Some industries have taken a closer look at the security of these devices. The banking and finance sectors use encryptions for access cards, as well as the control readers, panels, servers, and databases. Unfortunately, many campuses either don’t know or don’t care about the risks. This applies to both SMBs and larger enterprises. 

This is where security integrators come in. It falls to integrators and other security providers to educate consumers on the risks. They help them to take the necessary steps to protect themselves against potential threats. 

Nobody really took cybersecurity seriously until multiple high-profile data breaches had taken place. We would rather not see the same kind of indifference towards the potential weaknesses in physical access control. 

What Does This Mean for Campuses?

While it’s good that there is a focus on cybersecurity, campuses should be just as vigilant about their physical security. After all, an access control breach can be just as damaging as a cybersecurity breach. Especially given that access control systems secure sensitive assets. These include data centers, servers and infrastructure critical to maintaining data and finances.

It is for this reason that campuses should upgrade their access control technology. They must use encrypted credentials that aren’t copiable. Most access control systems already support edge-to-edge encryption. Even when specified on a new installation, it doesn’t cost significantly more.

Ideally, campuses should have an integrator who can educate them on the need for this newer technology. 

While it’s now easier and cheaper to defeat access control systems, protecting against these threats is just as simple. Talk to us today about encrypted access control technology.

Taking Your Access Control Systems from Good to Great

It is no secret that access control systems are akin to a new age in the integration of technology and security. They took what was and enabled us to move in greater more adaptable directions. To the point where security has gone beyond the simple lock and key methodology. In today’s world, everything down to your very identity is stored and secured in multiple ways to ensure complete safety.  

Synonyms with a well-functioning campus, a well placed and maintained access control system is like a healthy nervous system in the body. But like all things in life, if you don’t upgrade and maintain it, it can and will fail you sooner or later. 

Five Ways To Properly Improve Your Access Control Systems 

Regardless of whether your campus has been using the same access control system for years or just a few months, keeping a clear cut idea of what is essential. And evaluating your system’s functionality is beneficial in the long run. 

There are numerous ways to assess the procedures and processes of your access control systems. Starting from the technological components to how your staff interacts with them on a daily basis. 

Determining Your Access Control Level Requirements 

Before you can work on implementing a strong access control system, your first step will always be assessing your security needs. In the event that you already have a system in place, you must see if it offers the coverage you need.

This is also important when it comes to who will be using the system and what level of access they should have. A great way of doing this is looking at the building’s layout and assigning different zone levels to each class of staff members. For example, the main entrance or higher offices vs the docking bay at the back.

Evaluating What Features Your Access Control System Has  

When buying your first access control system, many salesmen tend to harp on about the appearance and verbal information. They neglect to go into system specifics. These features are crucial when wanting the best system for the job. Would a system with fingerprint access or an ID card access suit your needs better? Do you need more than one clearance point? Or is software protection more crucial? Once you are able to answer these questions you need to check that your system covers these functions and if not it may be time to improve on your security measures. 

Defining Who Has Access & To Which Roles 

Your access control system is only as strong as the individuals using it. Even if you have a state of the art system in place, if it is run on an open use platform, your security level will drop. Evaluating your team and their individual roles within the campus is a crucial step in defining who has access and who doesn’t. In general use, access to sensitive data should only go to higher-level staff members. The same goes for full building access or system overrides.

Updating Your Technology 

In most cases, experts agree that you shouldn’t use 125-kilohertz technology including proximity readers anymore, as they are quickly going out of fashion. Rather, they strongly suggest that if you’re using any functions like this, it’s time to upgrade. This is because 125 Kilohertz systems compromise easily. And, the cards used with them are easy to duplicate. In current times encrypted technology has become far more beneficial in the sense that it defines your access parameters. Instead of just locking it, you encrypt data into an unreadable format that is only accessible if the user has the decryption key. Thereby doubling the security level.  

Performing Periodic System Tests 

In most instances, when you first install a system, a series of system tests happen. This helps to ensure everything is running correctly. However, even if they are, it does not mean that system tests are no longer needed. The best way to ensure your system remains at optimal functionality is to do system tests every few months. 

If You Take Care Of Your Access Control System It Will Take Care Of You

Prosthetic Arm on Blue Background

It’s true that the world of security is constantly growing, changing, and adapting. But it’s that very adaptability that can be its strongest point and weakest link. With All Campus Security, each and every system is tailor-made for any situation. Simply relying on your installed system to stand the test of time against any threat is not only unrealistic but foolish. In order to ensure 100% safety, one needs to take the initiative and take the steps needed towards an improved system and a safer tomorrow. So do yourself a favor and take your first step today. 

How a Fire Alarm Zone Plan Will Make Your Campus A Safer Place

Fire Wallpaper

In 2004, there was a devastating fire at Rosepark Care Home in Uddingston, South Lanarkshire. It broke out in a cupboard and proceeded to rip through the building. The fire took the lives of four elderly residents and left the community in shock.

The fatal accident inquiry (FAI) began in February 2010 and finished taking evidence in August. The sheriff who gave his findings after the 141-day probe said: “some or all” of the deaths were preventable. If only the home had a “suitable and sufficient” fire safety plan in place. He believed that the management of fire safety at Rosepark was seriously defective.

Another, more recent example was the Grenfell Tower disaster of 2017. A fire broke out at 1:00 am in the kitchen of a fourth-floor flat at the 23-story tower block in North Kensington, West London. Within minutes, the fire had raced up the exterior of the building and spread to all four sides. By 3:00 am, most of the upper floors were alight. Seventy-two people died. The recent Grenfell inquiry has revealed negligence in a number of areas, all of which combined to hinder rescue and escape attempts, and exacerbated the disaster.

Even with these high profile stories, there may still be campus heads that are unaware of the importance of Fire Alarm Zone Plans.

What is a Fire Alarm Zone Plan?

A Fire Alarm Zone Plan shows the layout of the building. And, should clearly highlight the separate fire alarm zones to help evacuations in an emergency situation.

The plan should also include:

  • Building levels
  • Escape routes and final exits (exits that open out into a place of safety, such as the car park or school field)
  • Circulation areas (corridors, stairs, lifts etc)
  • A “You are Here” sign so that visitors and employees can map out their exit route

It is critical that your Fire Alarm Zone Plan corresponds to the orientation of the building. For instance, if there is a fire exit door to your immediate right, it should also be to the immediate right of the “you are here” sign on the plan.

Most importantly, the plan needs to be quick, easy and clear for all staff and visitors to understand in order to effectively evacuate in the case of a fire safety drill, or a real fire emergency.

Does my Campus Really Need a Fire Alarm Zone Plan?

Every campus, no matter how small or large needs a suitable Fire Alarm Zone Plan. The type of strategy depends on the nature of operations, the size of the building, and occupancy characteristics. A fire safety strategy is a changeable document structured around the operations of a suitably managed building.

In addition to aiding the evacuation of staff and visitors in a fire, a  Fire Alarm Zone Plan helps the emergency services to quickly identify the origin of the alarm, and therefore where the fire started and the direction it’s most likely to spread. This information is absolutely critical in a fire.

Case in Point

The victims of the Rosepark Care Home are a real example of what can happen if you neglect these small fire safety details. Zone plans could have helped some of the victims escaped the fire in the complex building layout, though there were other factors that contributed to the deaths:

  1. Staff waited 9 minutes after the alarm first sounded to contact the Fire Brigade
  2. Fire dampers in the ducting were never installed
  3. The self-closers on all bedroom doors had been disabled
  4. The bedroom doors had all been wedged open – allowing in the smoke and gases that directly killed some of the residents.

Ways to Improve Your Access Control System

You might think an Access Control System is something you only need if you have quite large premises. But actually, access control is for absolutely any campus that wants to improve overall safety and security. Access control systems range from simple stand-alone systems like a keypad on a door, to complex networked systems that use a variety of security technologies.

Some access control systems can provide information and reports very quickly which can be beneficial In an emergency situation. For example, it’s incredibly beneficial to rapidly generate a roll-call of everyone who is currently inside the building during evacuation. An Access Control System can also help firefighters to understand a building’s layout and thus control the spread of the fire. After an incident, the system can also provide data that can assist with the investigation.

The Responsible Person Must Understand Their Role

Sheriff Principal Brian Lockhart, who investigated the Rosepark Fire, said: “The management of fire safety at Rosepark was systematically and seriously defective. The deficiencies in the management of fire safety at Rosepark contributed to the deaths…Management did not have a proper appreciation of its role and responsibilities in relation to issues of fire safety“.

To avoid a disaster like this, a campus head needs to check that fire safety precautions are in place. A fire risk assessment needs to be correctly carried out. And you must optimize your access control system for such an emergency. By not having a proper plan in place, campuses, and the people they employ, are at great risk. 

Ways to Improve Your Access Control System

Brown Padlock

Access control’ is something security firms use around the globe in order to mitigate potential security risks. Particularly risk of theft. In terms of IT, access control is about regulating who has the ability to view a particular set of resources. 

For example, access control can restrict the ability of lower-level employees to view electronic company documentation that only management should be able to view. 

An access control system consists of measures put in place. They can be either physical or digital and they restrict access to certain areas or to certain information.

Stratistics MRC reported that the global video surveillance market is set to reach US$63.2 billion by 2022. While IHS Markit’s statistics show an almost 50% growth in the presence of video surveillance cameras in the United States between 2012 and 2016. 

These types of cameras are a fundamental cog in the access control market. They provide the means for users to monitor who is accessing what in your organization. Without the need for physically manned access points. 

However, the access control system that you use is only as good as the information that you feed it. Because, at the end of the day, it’s just a computer that cannot perform any logical reasoning on its own. Thus, it relies on your input to teach it how to correctly monitor your environment.

There are certain methods that you can adopt in order to ensure that your access control system performs its job correctly, helping to keep your environment free of threats.

Keep your Access Control Technology Updated

As previously discussed, your access control system is ultimately a computer. A computer runs optimally with regular updates and works according to the latest versions of the software that it uses.

The same principle applies to your video surveillance equipment. In order for it to run properly, you need to ensure that you download the latest versions of the software. The reason manufacturers release periodic updates is to fix problems that other users have raised with the software. So, although you may not have experienced the problem yourself, chances are that you may experience them in the future, should you not keep your software up to date.

In addition to updating your software, you also need to update your physical access control devices. Especially the servers that you store your data on. Don’t think, however, that you need to spend thousands of dollars on new servers for your office. With cloud technology, your servers can be located remotely. This means that you don’t have to incur the cost of the physical hardware, but you still have the benefit of immediate access to the data.

Always be Testing Your System

In order to keep your access control system up to date, you need to constantly be testing it to see where the possible flaws are. Once you know where the minor issues lie, you can fix them before they turn into serious problems. You don’t want someone else to discover a weakness in your system. They can exploit it and cost your campus millions in loss and damage.

Keep an Eye on Who has Access to Your Campus

In an organization, employees come and go. Sometimes their departure is amicable, but at other times, it is less than friendly. This means that you need to strictly monitor who is able to access your campus and your organizational information. This prevents them from using it and taking it to your competitors when they leave.

On the day that employees leave your campus, have them fill out an employee exit checklist with them. This checklist should include details about what property they have and what they need to give back. Including any smart devices that the school may have given them. This helps to ensure that nothing is forgotten and that no assets or data is put at risk.

If an employee is facing disciplinary action, and continued access to your premises could allow the employee to gain an unfair advantage in the proceedings, rather remove their access to the premises, pending the matter being heard. This is especially true in the case of an employee in a management position, as he or she may have access to sensitive information that – should the employee feel wronged – they could take and sell it to a competitor. If you deny an employee access to premises pending such action, those manning the access control points must also be aware of the situation so that they do grant the employee access manually.

Access Control for Your Campus

Access control systems on your campus are vital to ensuring the safety of both your staff and your assets. 

Depending on the size of your campus, and the value of the assets stored there, there might be no need to spend thousands on instituting high-end access control, when solutions that suit your pocket already exist. Video surveillance, for instance, is a great way of monitoring the people who come into your campus.

Access control systems are a must in your campus because they help to ensure the safety and security of your campus, campus assets, and information.

Access Control Security Systems for Your Campus

On a daily basis, people all over the world spend a decent amount of their time opening and locking doors. It is happening constantly – even while you read this. Locks are the first things to consider when discussing access control security systems.

Among the more advanced safety measures now available, access control is swiftly becoming one of the smartest and most adaptable. With capabilities ranging from retinal scanning and facial recognition to malware and virus protection, more and more companies are choosing to protect their campuses with access control. We’ve all gone through a door that requires a form of identification in order to open it, be it fingerprint scanning at the bank or keycards in your office building – these types of entrances and exits are becoming more and more common. 

But how do they actually work? 

Not many people take the time to figure that out. It works, and as long as they grant you access, it doesn’t really matter. Gaining a better understanding of how something actually works can be useful, though, enabling you to make better decisions.

Door Access Control Security Systems – How They Work 

Not too long ago, everyone considered a well-made lock sufficient for keeping our valuables and assets safe. But in the days since, the world has progressed and changed, sped up and become more complex. Technology is at the forefront of that change. While it has assisted potential villains in creating higher forms of theft and threat, it has also adapted to provide more effective campus security systems.

Access control is a form of security that identifies specific individuals, authenticates them, and gives them access to the door or workstation that they need access to. Within the door security sector, there are pieces of hardware that work together in order to provide the accessibility or lack thereof that these systems use to function. 

These pieces of hardware include: 

  • Security or key fob cards
  • Fingerprint or biometric scanners
  • Door readers 
  • Physical locking mechanisms
  • In newer versions of access control: smartphones

Security Cards

There are several basic versions of security cards most companies like to use. They come in various sizes and are customizable for your needs. These cards come with barcodes or RFID chips that have a specific identity or serial number embedded into them that is read and used by door readers. 

Fingerprint Scanners 

Like security cards, biometric scanners use criteria to provide specific people access through an entryway. But instead of using a physical key, they use a biological identifier such as a fingerprint or retinal scan.

Door Readers

Door readers are the physical pieces of hardware on the door that read the credential (like a key card, fingerprint, etc.) to deactivate the lock.  They are powered by their own data cables, even when WiFi enabled. In newer models, they are capable of connecting directly to a company’s network and holding the identification codes for all the people assigned to the system. They can work even if the organization’s network is down and the central management software is unavailable.

Smartphone Capabilities 

Even though this function is more modern, it works in a similar fashion to security cards, with a reader installed at a company’s entrances. Users have to download an app on their phone which will be programmed with the appropriate permissions for that specific user.

Access Control Security Systems – Fitting It All Together    

When a person approaches a controlled access door and presents their form of identification (e.g. their security card), there are things that happen in the few seconds it takes for the light to turn green and the lock to disengage. 

The RFID door readers use specific credentials that have embedded circuits and an antenna within the system. The process starts when the reader broadcasts a signal that the credential antenna then receives. This broadcasted electrical signal from the door reader contains enough power to energize the circuit in the credential. Once the electric circuit in the credential receives the power it needs, this is then sent back to the access control reader that includes the required identification (ID) number. 

In terms of fingerprint scanners, the sensor is connected to an integrator. This is an electrical circuit built around an inverting operational amplifier. The inverting amplifier used in these systems is a complex semiconductor device, made up of a number of transistors, resistors, and capacitors. 

Lastly, the smartphone app;  the major variants of smartphone access control system include IP systems, control panel systems, and mobile access credentials. After downloading the app, the reader can recognize each user according to their credentials and allow them access where applicable. 

Door Access Control Installation Specifications 

Before deciding to make use of door access control security systems, there are certain questions concerning the access control installation that every campus head should answer first:

The purpose of installing an access control system should be clear. It is based on the security level that a particular company might require for their installation. 

System Type
This is a very important factor of access control installation. The user should have a complete assessment of the system so that he/she can achieve the objectives they are looking for.

Authentication Type
A company owner needs to ensure they select the most powerful and most suitable types of authentication for their specific system. This includes biometric, key fobs, electromagnetic cards, keypads, touch screens, or in some cases, a combination.

Cost is always a very critical component to consider when it comes to selecting good security systems that include installation. You should not invest more in securing less valuable assets and should not invest less for high-value assets.

Door access control systems are always a fantastic addition to any campus security system, and moving forward it could be your best choice when wanting to secure your establishment.

Controlling Your Company’s Future with Access Control Security Systems

It is normal for campus heads to have worries and stress over the well-being of their company and employees. The world is constantly changing and new threats crop up when we least expect them. 

However, this does not need to be the ruling thought on your mind. Security is always evolving and has become stronger and far more effective – especially when used right. Door access control systems were created for this very reason. Unfortunately, we can’t be in all places all at once. The variables are just something we all have to work with. 

Access control provides peace of mind. Your world can change, as can the faces you see every day. But when using an effective door access control security system, you can still have the control you need over what matters most. 

Business Security Systems – Anticipated Trends in Access Control for Campuses

Throughout the school sector and beyond, society as a whole has become a living breathing organ of security consciousness. In an effort to create a sense of security itself, years of work and creation have gone into designing and manufacturing adaptable and capable business security systems. They are used specifically for keeping the bad out and the good in. As they say, necessity is the mother of all invention.

Thousands of years ago, man created the lock and key system. In the 1850s, alarm systems started cropping up in campuses around the globe. And, in the 1980s, an amazing new system of security – surveillance – took the world by storm. With each generation, security gets more and more sophisticated and every step has led up to our current leading security choice. Access control. 

When taking a closer look at our current sectors and definitions of physical and information security, access control for campuses is a selective/determined restriction of access to a specific place or other important resources e.g. computers, servers and programs.

Different acts of accessing may include: consuming, entering, or using these facilities. Any needed permission to access a specific resource is called ‘authorization’. In current times, our ability to verify a person or intention has increased tenfold. We are now capable of amazing achievements, including facial recognition, fingerprint scanners, key-card readers, malware protection, and even forewarning and advanced alert systems. 

With so many exciting things happening already one can only imagine what is yet to come.

Trends to Watch Out For in the Future of Business Security Systems

closeup photo of eyeglasses

Like the very definition of a trend demonstrates – a general direction in which something is developing or changing, the world of access control for campuses is an ever-shifting and growing development. It has already become a major function within business security systems and is only going to become more so. The following trends are good examples of this:

Cloud-Based Products 

The notion of network-based computing dates back to the 1960s. But, many believe the first use of “cloud computing” in its modern form occurred on August 9, 2006. This is a  type of computing that relies on shared resources, rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications. Benefits include quicker installation time, automatic software updates, flexibility and mobility, managed services, and increased cybersecurity. It’s easy to see why there is an increased installation and usage rate expected in this particular branch of security.

Mobile Credentials and Biometrics  

In a nutshell, mobile biometrics involves individual biometric identification on a mobile device. These standards of identification include body measurements and calculations e.g. fingerprints, retinal scanning, and facial recognition. Recent studies have shown that both governments and private industry leaders and corporations are turning to mobile biometrics. It helps to speed up the processing of human identification. Newer mobile devices are now created with built-in biometric sensors. Or, one can achieve this by attaching portable biometric hardware to their devices via a USB cable or through a Wi-Fi connection.

Increased Business Security Systems Collaboration Between Companies and Manufacturers 

In 2019, moving forward will no longer be about simply protecting sensitive data and keeping hackers out of our systems. In our current time of big data, bigger risks, and artificial intelligence, our standing on cooperation data can lead to enormous business opportunities and scientific and medical breakthroughs. Security is also going to have to focus on enabling organizations to leverage, collaborate, and jointly protect their data. Without exposure to privacy breaches, giving up of intellectual property, or having their data misused. We plan to achieve this in a number of ways. This includes applying advanced analytics and AI to data while encrypted, which can generate insights into potential risks without ever exposing unprotected data.

Comprehensive Security Patching

Studies from July 2018 found that old security flaws in enterprise resource planning software are being exploited. This is generally done by hackers, malicious software, and bots. Because of this, there has been an increase in cyber attacks worldwide. Companies have started worrying about how to protect themselves from these types of threats. That is why one of the top five access control trends of 2019 is patching these vulnerabilities, even if it creates a temporary disruption in the production environment. Broken into different types of patches including Binary patches, Source code patches and large patches; companies are planning on using these tried and tested methods in an effort to fix security holes. 

Data Analytics and Identifying Potential Threats

In 2019, there is a predicted increase in enterprises using and expanding their data analytics. This should occur to monitor and mitigate any potential threats. This plans to extend beyond detecting threats as they happen and will encompass risk simulation tools and what-if scenarios too. Companies will continue to use dashboards that monitor any and all access, but they will also be moving toward running possible scenarios to identify potential SoD issues and conflicts. There is also a predicted use of role design analysis tools to prevent software roles from expanding into grey territory over time and to maintain the integrity of role structure within these business security systems.

An Exciting Time Of Access and Control to Come 

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You can rest assured that access control has not only become a fundamental feature of security but will continue to grow and strengthen as worldwide threats become more advanced. We can expect that access control will be at the center of the expansion within the security industry moving forward. 

And based on all of the amazing things we have already achieved in this industry – one can only imagine where we will end up. Yes, we do not live in a perfect world, but breath easy! With All Campus Security, your future will be a secure one. 

Business Security Solutions With Access Control

Access control systems are an essential feature of integrated business security solutions. They are developed to ensure the safety of both staff, visitors and sensitive data. They make sure that only authorized individuals have access to specific areas.

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Whether your business or school has made use of the same access control system for many years, there’s a special event coming up, or you’re considering an upgrade, there’s never a bad time to evaluate and improve your access control systems and procedures. Of course, improving your access control systems doesn’t necessarily mean shelling out for expensive new technology. There are certain steps, such as engaging Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) concepts, or watching out for tailgating, that can improve your business security solutions.

Business Security Solutions – Five Ways to Improve your Building’s Access Control System

Evaluate the usefulness of your system

The first step in improving your access control system is reviewing the fundamental purpose it serves. You need to assess whether it effectively serves that purpose. This evaluation includes the location of the control systems and whether the system protects the assets and individuals that require it.

Review who has access

Some access control systems, especially in buildings with high turnover rates, can have an issue with the number of active access tokens. These actives often exceed the number of users who actually require access. For example, when a token’s access is allowed, even after an employee leaves the company. In an assessment of one organization’s access control, they revealed that there were 600 active access tokens but only 150 employees. Reviewing who has access and ensuring the correct people have access to only the sections of the buildings necessary can help to improve business security. You can also set up timeout features to help prevent future issues. For example:

  • You can shut off access once the card remains unused for a specified period of time
  • Renew cards after a certain period of inactivity
  • Link access control tokens to a human resources database

Watch out for tailgating 

Holding the door open for someone is the polite thing to do. But it undermines the entire point of an access control system. And, it leads to potential risks. One way to improve access control is to educate employees on observing who they are holding the door open for. They should only do so for those who also have permission for the part of the building they are trying to access. Implement multiple layers of security to deal with tailgating.

Upgrade your technology

Business security solutions like access control technology are always advancing. Ideally, you should update your access control system every ten years. The 125-kilohertz systems used by proximity readers that were popular a few years ago are now outdated. This also leads to security risks. The technology is easily manipulated, and the access cards are easy to duplicate. 

Periodically test the system

Don’t leave a security system to its own devices. One way to keep your access control system functioning optimally is to test it on a monthly or quarterly basis. You need to ensure proper functionality and to make sure security managers can plan any changes or improvements in advance.

Bonus Tip: Incorporate Video Into Your Access Control System

Incorporating video surveillance into your access control system can provide a higher level of security. It allows you to view information from both systems in a single interface, thereby letting you verify the identity of users attempting to access certain parts of a building.

Integrated Business Security Solutions

Access control systems can help to protect your staff, visitors and assets. But, integrated security systems are the future of security – combining multiple security systems into one solution for improved ease. Integrated security systems allow you to control all systems from one console, evaluating information from all systems at the same time – for example, integrating video surveillance and access control systems – which can have many benefits and applications, such as using video object counting to detect tailgating or beginning a video recording when a blacklisted or stolen token attempts access.

Business Security Solutions and Access Control Installation

Running a heavily trafficked establishment is difficult enough without having to worry about security. All Campus Security offers customized, integrated security solutions, including access control installation for organizations of all sizes and types, designed to give you peace of mind and keep your staff, customers and faculty safe. 

All Campus Security will work with you to decide which type of access control system is best for you, depending on the requirements of your business and your budget. Qualified security professionals will also ensure that access control installation occurs with as little disruption as possible to your staff and visitors.

Why Access Control Installation is So Important

Silhouette Photo of Person Holding Door Knob

Every campus needs a comprehensive evaluation of all their security systems, controls and parameters. We cannot overstate the importance of periodic security assessments and access control installation. 

Designed to identify all areas that may be vulnerable to security breaches, as well as any flaws or deficiencies in your security systems, the results of a security assessment can help you to determine the best course of action to properly protect your campus assets, as well as staff and visitors. They are also an excellent first step to take before making security improvements or changes. Especially when those changes solve a specific security problem.

Analyzing all aspects of your security program, security assessments identify any weaknesses. And, they highlight places to make improvements, as well as opportunities for better efficiency and cost reduction.

The frequency with which security assessments occur will vary from campus to campus. This depends on the level of security required but, as a general rule, annual security assessments are sufficient. For organizations where security is vital, such as in high-crime areas, assessments should happen semi-annually or quarterly.

Basic Security Assessment Tasks

Though there are no hard and fast rules for security assessments, they begin with understanding the requirements of your organization and identifying priority areas. Some basic tasks to undertake include:

  • Identifying long and short-term security goals
  • Identifying potential sources of threats
  • Inspecting your site for security vulnerabilities, such as broken locks
  • Assessing any security systems for vulnerabilities, such as video surveillance blind spots
  • Identifying areas where security upgrades could provide benefits, as well as areas that could use video camera or access control installation
  • Determining whether your video camera installation is sufficient and whether additional or upgraded cameras could offer improvement
  • Reviewing your campus’ compliance with CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principals
  • Assessing your school’s compliance with any industry-specific security requirements. These include PCI (Payment Card Industry); HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act); FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act); C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism ; and FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act)
  • Reviewing all security policies, procedures, and personnel

Other aspects to assess during a security audit include:

  • Access control policy
  • Staff security policy
  • Emergency communication
  • Rapid response 
  • Data security policy

Though it is possible to perform a security assessment yourself, we recommend that you entrust the job to professional assessors. They have training and experience in the science-based methodologies that identify the largest possible threats. As can be seen in a 48-page example security assessment checklist from FEMA, there are a number of possible threats an organization can face. They may not be obvious to an untrained eye. Some examples of vulnerability questions from the FEMA checklist include whether cameras are programmed to respond automatically to perimeter building alarm events and whether they have built-in video motion capabilities.

Specific Ways to Improve Your Security

Based on the results of the security assessment, appropriate steps can be taken to improve. Even something as simple as updated access control installation or improving the placements of video surveillance can make a big difference in preventing possible security breaches.

Access Control Installation

These systems are an essential feature of campus security systems, protecting the sensitive areas of your organization, ensuring the safety of both staff and visitors and making sure that only authorized individuals are allowed access to specific areas. Access control installation allows your school to prevent or allow entry without relying on physical keys, as well as enabling you to see who accessed a site and when. Another benefit is that you are able to deny entry remotely or allow access according to certain schedules.

Security Camera Installation

Many schools will already have video surveillance, but for those who don’t, security camera installation is a vital first step in improving security. The ability to record video for future reference, with cloud-based storage preferably is also important, as is conditional recording, such as recording only when an invalid access token tries to access a secure area, or when a motion detector records movement.

Access Control Installation for Your School

Security assessments can highlight many unnoticed weaknesses in your security system, from improper video camera installation to insufficiencies with access control policies. Security assessments can also improve employee behaviors, helping them to understand how to recognize suspicious demeanours, as well as how to respond should an incident occur.  Find out more about access control here.