School administrators want creative and affordable ways to secure their facilities. From K-12 through high school, the challenges vary significantly. Regardless of the size or type of school, however, access control is critical to the continued security of students, teachers, administrators, data, and property.
Advantages of Controlling Access
It’s critical to limit access to only the authorized and vetted, but sometimes this is impossible to control. First thing in the morning, for example, when busses are unloading, the doors need to be wide open and monitored by teachers and staff. It may be impossible to stop someone from entering the school during drop-off, but narrowing this window and enforcing the principles of access control during “lockable” times are great actions to get your school onto the track of total security.
Once doors can be locked, access control can be enforced. This starts with requiring everyone, employees, and visitors, to present credentials. Teachers, staff, and students will be able to enter easily. Visitors must request entry and be vetted by staff before entering the building freely.
Inside the building, access control keeps sensitive areas off limits while allowing easy access for authorized personnel. IT offices and server rooms, for example, are highly sensitive. These spaces contain network and computer equipment that run the network and hold sensitive student information.
Maintenance facilities, of course, can be access controlled as well, limiting access to expensive tools and dangerous equipment.
Access control equals accountability. The system logs successful and unsuccessful attempts to enter buildings and sensitive areas. These logs are critical to incident investigations and provide clues about attempts to enter off-limit spaces. Reports can be generated and reviewed regularly by administrators.
Access Control System Basics
Access control solutions are multi-layered systems and not a single component. Successful systems will contain one or more types of card or biometric credentials, door locking hardware, and system management software. The software is usually integrated with other security systems, such as the video surveillance system, and is preprogrammed with detailed information about authorized users. The user information is matched to a facility-defined user level that serves as permission for a specific type of perimeter and internal access. The electronic door hardware keeps doors locked until a valid credential is presented.
The Right Partner
Solution design for educational facilities is a process. Netronix begins by evaluating an organization’s unique application and performance expectations. Input is gathered from the security team, facilities staff, IT department, administrators, and other stakeholders. Next, we perform a site survey, inside and outside, to evaluate the physical layout of the facility and uncover potential vulnerabilities. Once the risks and expectations are clearly defined, our team designs a unified security solution. Products from a variety of leading manufacturers are assembled into a custom design and demonstrations of key components are performed with the school.
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