In a recent survey regarding the needs of campus guests access system, many universities and colleges all seem to be saying one thing in common: the more guests they have visiting their campus, the more problems they have with their access control systems.
Since access control systems are a crucial bit of security for any campus in this violence-prone world, a poorly working system truly does little to no good to keep the bad guys out and the good guys in. Since part of a campus’s success relies upon the influx of visitors and potential students or donors, it is not possible to simply keep guests out, so a system of traffic flow that still also offers safety and security can be rather difficult to come by. According to one survey, staff members were indicating that it was also extremely difficult to manage visitors and guests during an emergency, which is exactly when it is most important to do so.
In addition to these complex issues, it is also evident that card systems have their own challenges, despite their convenience. Although the card reading access control systems do give a greater amount of individual freedom within the security perimeters, it also is very easy to lose, share, or have your card stolen, thus giving unauthorized access to anyone with the card. Some studies also indicate that incorporating their video cameras and systems with a current public use video system is extremely difficult as well.
When comparing the survey results of universities versus the security satisfaction rating in hospitals, the universities seem to fall far short of what hospital staff experience. The question, though, is why would hospital security be so much better than university, at least according to this survey?
One key aspect may be the older age group that works in hospitals, and the better capability for responsibly managing their keys. Universities are filled with busy minded and very young students who are notorious for being careless from time to time. In a hospital setting, however, you have groups of mature professionals who have a better dedication to personal security. This means that perhaps, card keys may work in hospitals, but perhaps another method would be more suitable for a school or university setting.
It may be helpful for many of these universities to simply ensure that they are not reliant upon one single method of controlled access, but instead, incorporate several methods of security. While some statistics indicate that incorporating multiple systems on a single channel of security can be challenging, it can be done with the right system in place and with people who know how to use the security properly.
Video surveillance, still very popular in some universities, does have its own challenges as well. While it is a wonderful way to monitor activities and even restrict them accordingly, in a true emergency it does little good, as it cannot actually control access points but can only record events taking place. If used for intrusion and detection, videos are great. If used for deterrents, however, or to deal with a current situation, they are not all that effective by themselves.
The answer appears to be a multiple layered security system that incorporates cards, videos, and other types of security. This seems to offer the best protection and the best system that can be used by both young and older people alike. Security is a necessary thing in this day and age, and with the plethora of digital technology, there are many security options that are now available for campus security.