Home' Independence : Independence Vol 34 No 1 May 2009 Contents PRODUCT NEWS
With the increasing investment in techno-
logical resources driven by the Digital
Education Revolution, many schools are now
implementing tighter security measures to
protect not only students and staff, but their
considerable assets and resources.
Computers, projectors and electronic
whiteboards – any IT teaching resources –
are prime targets of theft and vandalism.
Robust, flexible and scalable security systems
can greatly mitigate this risk.
Today, many schools are moving beyond
traditional lock and key solutions to electronic
security management systems to control
access to facilities. Typically electronic
security systems are comprised of one or
more of the following: electronic access
control, intruder alarm monitoring, remote
digital imaging eg DVR/CCTV, photo
identification and duress functionality.
Electronic access control removes the risk that
lost or stolen keys present. When a key is lost
or stolen, locks must be changed to ensure
security integrity, whereas a lost or stolen
access card can be cancelled in the stroke
of a key.
Electronic access cards can also function
as photo identification of the cardholder,
providing verifiable proof of identity for the
peace of mind of students and staff alike.
The first step in securing school premises is
to identify the various security needs
throughout the site/s and match the need
with appropriate security measures and
access privileges. The school environment
needs to deliver a balance of openness
combined with a strong sense of security for
staff, students and property.
The ideal security management platform has
an open system architecture which is both
flexible and scalable, so it can meet changing
requirements. Having the ability to control
who goes where and when is crucial –
especially in areas such as IT rooms,
computer laboratories, and where electronic
resources are housed.
Having an access control and an integrated
intruder alarm system installed not only
deters attacks on property, but also provides
significant transparency of access events and
any alarms on site. This audit trail can be
enhanced by interfaces with other security
technologies such as DVR/CCTV imaging
systems which enable images to be matched
with access events recorded in the system.
While most schools will rely on a monitoring
company to monitor alarms within the system,
the ability to control and monitor day-to-day
security on-site provides freedom and
autonomy in access management, for
example, the school can grant access to staff
or students for specific areas after school
hours if necessary. A security management
system which can be divided into uniquely
identifiable areas within the system means
access events can be traced and monitored
with great accuracy.
Interfaces with duress systems and building
management systems for more
comprehensive site security and facilities
management enable the amalgamation
of data sources and the centralisation of
information management as the school
grows. Open system architecture provides the
opportunity to rationalise disparate systems.
A security management system which
integrates with student management systems
containing student records means only
one set of cardholder data needs to be
maintained, reducing administrative
maintenance and input, and minimising the
risk of errors.
Security in the age of the Digital Education Revolution
54 Independence Volume 34 No. 1
Electronic access cards used in electronic
security management systems can have wider
application such as cashless vending, prepaid
photocopying, issuing library books and
resources and even use as bus passes.
Another key consideration is that the system
is ‘IT friendly’ and can reside on the school’s
IT network. A system designed to share data
with other organisational management
systems, including resource scheduling
systems eg for room booking, makes it
a particularly attractive solution for the
education sector in terms of facilitating and
managing space utilisation and security.
The use of Mifare SmartCards as access
tokens delivers applications which can extend
beyond security to enable cashless vending,
prepaid photocopying, library book lending,
issuing resources and even use as bus passes.
As well as protecting school property, assets,
staff and students in a very practical sense,
robust security measures also serve to
heighten staff and student morale. A strong
sense of safety and wellbeing contributes
greatly to the positive learning environment
ensuring investment in our education system
can be fully realised.
Contributed by Gallagher Security
Management Systems, manufacturer of
Cardax FT electronic access control and
intruder alarm systems.
For more information, please contact our
Cardax Australia Pty Ltd
Phone: 02 9412 4477
Fax: 02 9904 8546
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