School Vulnerabilities Explained at ASIS

School Vulnerabilities Explained at ASIS

Keeping students, faculty and visitors at schools are a top priority for every school district. Having a vulnerability assessment done at a school campus can make a huge difference in keeping everyone safe while there. In fact, having a professional come out to test the systems you have in place can make a huge impact. Many schools aren’t aware that something as simple as leaving a coffee mug in a classroom can put someone at risk.

During ASIS, John Woodmansee, from the Connecticut Department of Education, led a discussion on Virtual School Vulnerability Assessment.

The first exercise, if you will, was having attendees pick out what could be potential risks in a classroom from a picture he had on the screen.

The image showed what looked like a normal classroom. But there were a few things that could create a risk. For instance, the computer was unlocked and ready for anyone to use - meaning students could quickly gain access to private and sensitive information, including the teacher's email.

The teachers keys were out on the desk as well as the ID card. Leaving these out in the open is a big no-no. Students could easily take a key and open something or gain access to a room that might be restricted and hold certain items that shouldn’t be accessed by students - something such as a chemistry lab. The kids could also steal a key and make copies, perhaps before the teacher has even noticed the key was gone. The student could even return the key and the teacher would never know it had been compromised.These are just a few examples of something an instructor should be aware of before leaving the classroom unattended.

Other things instructors and faculty should know are the order of their priority list during an emergency as well as know exactly what the protocols are for each different emergency. Some school districts have started to use ‘All Hazard’ plans which have same protocols for multiple incidents, making it easier for faculty, staff and students to remember during the event or events.

Keeping everyone safe while on campus has always been the top priority for schools, and knowing how to make that task easier and safer is becoming much more attainable, thanks to conducting vulnerability assessments.

About the Author

Lindsay Page is the editor for Campus Security & Life Safety magazine, and the senior editor for Security Today.