Thursday, February 20, 2014
Posted by Kayla DuBos

Educating Ourselves in Security

In any given educational system, one concern remains at the top of every administrator’s priorities, safety. In recent years this concern has been heightened by staff and families becoming involved and demanding a safety standard in individual school districts. This demand has caused a wave of panic among district personnel as they face the task of bringing top security to their campuses.

Cisco Physical Security has made security more pervasive, easier to access and control, and more compatible with existing Cisco VoIP systems many schools have already implemented. Now, if you’re company is still relying on locally stored VHS tapes, then taking the first steps towards the 21st Century may appear daunting. However, Cisco Physical Security has simple management tools that help you maintain new footage in an easier, more cost-effective way. 

School districts both in the K-12 and higher education vertical have implemented this system all throughout the United States and around the world. Most end-to-end Cisco system users comment on the ease in which they were able to add a security element to their systems.
  
The most talked about piece of technology at the moment is Cisco’s Physical Access Control. This technology allows users the ability to control all security elements from virtually anywhere. “We receive calls after hours, and appreciate not having to drive to campus,” says Steve Young, chief technology officer for Judson Independent School District located in San Antonio, Texas.

 Access Control also allows IT personnel to have a quicker response time to unexpected incidents, allows individual doors to lock automatically, remain locked during lock downs and allows changes to each door’s status within seconds. Many of these functions are also available through special integration with existing Cisco based VoIP implementations.  Many schools that have begun using this technology have seen a decrease in cost as they use magnetic cards that have been personalized according to each employee/student’s status, rather than having to worry about broken locks, lost keys and reparation of those items. This also allows IT personnel to track the use of each person’s card and to draw attention to suspicious activity. 

Overall, this technology allows for safer campuses in multiple ways such as:
• Automated door locking and unlocking
• Building access reports
• Ability to quickly disable badges
• Remote management, for emergencies
• Fast lockdowns
• Integration with Cisco VoIP systems

Linked to this behind the scenes control is the use of Cisco IP Video Surveillance Cameras. These cameras offer a combination of the latest zoom and pan-tilt features with high-definition picture quality. These cameras allow you to clearly see what is going on in between classes in the hallways, in between buildings, and in staff and student parking lots. Many schools complain about not being able to clearly identify students and staff because of bad video quality. With these new IP Surveillance cameras, visibility is no longer an issue. 

When the cameras just mentioned are used alongside the Video Surveillance Operations Manager, life for your IT and security personnel gets a lot easier. This allows easy access to camera control and allows scheduling of when certain areas need the most visibility, such as carpool, changing of class periods, and during the duration of night classes on university campuses. 

Along with viewing real-time video footage, the Operations Manager allows for easier, less time consuming retrieval of archived video footage and it increases building security.

Many case studies reviewing these products, talk about the importance of having a knowledgeable, Cisco partner that is qualified to do the work. Transformyx has been newly certified as a Cisco Connected Security Authorized Technology Provider. We can help your campuses become safer and give everyone in your community peace of mind that our younger generations are safer and more secure in their educational environments.
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