Page 103 - Security Today, September/October 2021
P. 103

ations like the recent COVID-19 pandemic, this integration also used to block a person’s access to facilities for specified time-periods based on the results of a health self-assessment questionnaire, helping to create safer, healthier buildings for the entire campus community.
For standard academic buildings, access control should be deployed where needed – places of ingress and egress, as well as any rooms and closets that should not be accessible to the general popula- tion. Many schools have research programs and facilities that operate high-dollar equipment, store hazardous materials or controlled sub- stances and contain valuable intellectual property.
The research areas must be protected with a higher level of security than a standard classroom. It is not uncommon for research programs to have federal funding and affiliation, which may require compliance with additional federal regulations. It is critical to select a system that supports compliance with all of the various regulatory requirements of a campus. At a minimum, readers need to use Open Supervised Device Protocol and multifactor authentication if any hazardous chemicals or controlled substances are being used and stored.
It is a solemn necessity that any solution includes ways for autho- rized persons to put a campus on lockdown, whether that be a special card swipe, a software-initiated lockdown or an input such as a panic button. Ideally, lockdowns should be customizable to certain campus areas for a more targeted approach.
Point of Sale
College campuses also include retail experiences with dining halls or on-campus stores, where students need an easy way to make pur- chases. As stated earlier, using smart cards that act as both an access credential as well as a place to store school funds is ideal.
By Brandy Edgecombe
50 customers in One
What it takes to think like a higher education buyer
Things can get tricky when students try to take advantage of “all you can eat” meal plans by giving friends their cards. One way to solve this problem while also speeding up entry is by integrating with biometric software and readers. Rather than multiple swipes of a card, students can simply walk through immediately as the biometric reader verifies their access. Exchanging cards is no longer possible when students are required to present a unique biometric, which in turn, reduces the financial loss a campus experiences with meal plan sharing.
Stadiums and Mass Gatherings
The influx of people on a big college game day presents a host of unique security challenges. A big rival football game can draw more than 100,000 people over a relatively short timeframe, and unlike other controlled and secure areas on campus, necessitates letting large numbers of people into a given area at a given time.
While it’s not feasible to provide credentials to every visitor to the campus, risk can be mitigated by implementing extensive video sur- veillance to improve situational awareness around violence or theft, as well as intercom integrations to improve mass notification capa- bilities in the event of an emergency. Due to the open nature of ath- letic facilities, it makes the most sense to focus access control on select areas that require tighter restrictions, such as locker rooms, IT closets and areas where currency is stored.
Find an Open, Trusted Solution
If you take anything away from this simplified breakdown of the mul- tiple uses of a college setting, it’s that a good technology solution is an open one that has a wide variety of features, and a proven pedigree of seamlessly integrating with third-party technologies. With the right products and implementation, your security solution will certainly make for a safer campus – but it can do much more than that too.
It can simplify operations and enhance the everyday experience of students and faculty, all while providing the peace of mind and con- fidence needed to create an ideal learning environment.
Brandy Edgecombe is the director, Higher Education Solutions, at LenelS2.

   101   102   103   104   105