Decentralized Assets, Centralized Control
Asset management and access control integration provide unique security solutions for campuses
- By Ellie Randall
- January 01, 2018
In this day and age, securing educational
facilities is not as simple as it once was.
Long gone are the days of slapping
CCTV cameras around the exterior of a
building and calling it “secure.” There is
no finite security solution for any one campus,
and oftentimes, solutions will vary greatly
in their technology depending on their size
and location, among other factors.
More than likely, when one thinks of security
in a campus setting, one probably thinks
of the most common components: access
control, high-security locks, cameras and
maybe a visitor management system. However,
with the constantly evolving state of campus
safety and security, coupled with emerging
technologies, it is time for schools to
begin thinking about innovative solutions
when it comes to their overall security plan.
A technology that is not as “mainstream” as
CCTV or access control but just as important
and effective is key and asset management.
This proves to be an extremely valuable addition
to any campus in enhancing security and
effectively managing the important keys and
devices which are critical to day-to-day operations.
Recognized as the global leaders in
innovative key and asset management, Traka
uses pioneering solutions to manage the most
important parts of any organization, including
POWER THROUGH INTEGRATION
It is becoming more critical that businesses and
organizations adopt open standards when
selecting their security equipment providers
and technologies. With the recent integration
of Traka’s intelligent key and asset management
products and Open Options’ DNA Fusion
access control platform, users can now have a
feature-rich and powerful solution that makes
the task of managing and tracking company
property that much easier. A well-thought-out
integration allows you to scale your operational
needs without the burden of scaling your
DNA Fusion is the standard in open platform
access control software. It’s designed
using the very latest in software development
technology and contains countless customercentric
features that provide an extremely
user-friendly experience. A true proponent of
open architecture, DNA Fusion has the capability
to interface with leading technologies in
the industry, such as Traka key and asset
management, to develop a customized and
best-of-breed security solution based on each
user’s unique needs.
The functionality of the integration is simple
yet extremely effective. System administrators
can automatically enroll DNA Fusion
cardholders into the Traka database, assign
user access levels for access to Traka cabinets
and lockers, and receive Traka events and
alarms back into the DNA Fusion interface
for centralized control. For enterprise-level
organizations, this integration gives users the
regionalization necessary for efficient management
without adding any burden to toplevel
security administration, which is ideal in
a multi-campus setting.
Furthermore, this integration streamlines
security processes and procedures, as single
credentials can be assigned for both door
access as well as property and equipment
secured by Traka.
WHAT CAN BE SECURED?
The sky is the limit when it comes to what
can be secured with an integrated access
control and asset management solution,
especially in a campus environment. With
the recent introduction of technology in the
classrooms, such as iPads, tablets and laptops,
there is certainly an increased need for
secure and controlled storage that can be
audited at any time. Traditionally, assets
such as these are assigned on a “sign in, sign
out” method. Although this leaves somewhat
of an audit trail, it is not a very sophisticated
practice and poses numerous security risks
such as theft and accidental loss.
There are also several aspects to be considered
outside the classroom when it comes
to asset management and protection. Campuses
house a number of different departments including grounds and facilities, IT, finance, athletics and
many more. As a result, there are many different assets — ranging
from maintenance fleet vehicles to controlled substances in a laboratory
— that require strict access control and monitoring.
So, what’s the solution?
DECENTRALIZATION INCREASES EFFICIENCY
Networked key cabinets and locker systems enable schools to securely
store items at the point of use, making daily use more efficient.
Authorized users can retrieve the key(s) or assets they need in seconds
right in the building where it’s used. This means that vehicle
keys can be stored in the garage, specialized equipment can remain
in the lab and tablets can be kept in the classroom. Administrators
still have the same control and visibility from the central security
office, while your staff — and students — enjoy more efficient and
effective daily processes.
Many campuses suffer from having a single point of distribution and
collection for facility keys and assets. This has proven to be extremely
inefficient, with a direct impact to the bottom line. While it’s beneficial
to have centralized control and visibility of protected items from the
campus security office, faculty and staff must walk across campus every
day just to check in or out a key or asset. Multiply this by dozens of
users and it adds up to a lot of lost productivity each day. Think about
security officers, cleaning crews, maintenance workers — the list goes
on and the dollars stack up.
While these keys and assets are necessary for employees to gain
access to various areas of the campus, utilizing a decentralized key and
asset management solution allows the items to be tracked effortlessly
from one central location. Consequently, the number of keys held by
staff is reduced, and in turn, the chance of them getting into the wrong
hands is mitigated. This reduces risk while increasing security and
peace of mind all without disrupting daily operations, making processes
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS TO CAMPUSES
An integrated asset management and access control solution will also
create a more controlled environment, increasing safety and situational
awareness for students and staff alike. For example, system operators
can easily restrict access to hazardous areas until proper safety equipment
has been checked out. Access to assets can also be easily controlled
by adding, deleting or suspending users.
Because the time of every user and asset transaction is recorded and
logged as an event within the access control platform, each individuals is
held accountable for the property they have checked out. This integration
gives system administrators control of each user’s facility access
permissions based on Traka item status; for example, employees cannot
leave a facility prior to returning keys or equipment to the Traka cabinet.
Knowing this may prompt those who access property to act more
responsibly and return items in a timely manner.
These are just some of the reasons an integrated
management and access control solution is not
just a smart, but necessary technology to have as
part of any campus’ total security solution.
This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.