Intelligent Campuses Require An Advanced Security Strategy

Intelligent Campuses Require An Advanced Security Strategy

The digital revolution has opened the door to a flurry of incoming data from numerous entities

Although you may immediately think of educational facilities when someone says the word “campus,” these environments can also be found across a host of other vertical markets, including healthcare, government and business enterprises. Regardless of the specific market a campus fits into, the management staff responsible for these facilities are more focused on security than ever before. Traditional risks, such as workplace violence, terrorism and insider threats continue to evolve, while combating cybersecurity threats has gained importance when considering a comprehensive security strategy.

Campus leaders have a tremendous responsibility in ensuring the protection of what matters most to their organization— students and faculty in a university setting, patients and hospital personnel in a healthcare setting or corporate employees, customers and customer data in a business setting. The stakes are high, and as the impact of these threats on an organization rises, the need for a real-time, predictive and comprehensive security strategy increases.

The Data Challenge for Campus Environments

The digital revolution and prevalence of connected devices has opened the door to a flurry of incoming data from numerous systems and sensors, and campuses need modern ways to capture and analyze this information to make informed decisions. At the same time, each connected device increases an organization’s vulnerability to nefarious activity and data breaches. A new comprehensive security approach is necessary to help mitigate these risks so that campus leaders can gather, process and analyze the data available to them to enhance security, modernize services offered on campus and increase operational efficiency.

The idea of an intelligent campus has grown over time as we’ve seen the Internet of Things (IoT) mature. At the same time, artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G have the potential to help all types of organizations offer better services, more robust user experiences and increased safety. Below, we take a closer look at which innovations and ideas are changing the campus security landscape and how you can gain the most value from them to improve your campus experience while protecting what matters most.

The Heart of the Intelligent Campus

In the dynamic and fast-paced campus environment, security leaders need to look at managing security threats holistically. This can be a challenge, however, as security systems such as intrusion, access control and video surveillance often operate in silos. This makes it difficult for security leaders to access the information they need when they need it most.

The Intelligent Security Operations Center (ISOC) is critical to the success of an intelligent campus and can help address this issue. The ISOC aggregates multiple systems into a single interface and exposes it to an analytic layer that results in the delivery of actionable intelligence. The ISOC incorporates AI to provide data about what is happening across a campus’ domains and helps operators determine the impact to the organization. Over time, the ISOC’s ability to unify incoming data and leverage machine learning to identify patterns and detect threats will help an organization take a more proactive approach to their campus security needs.

Automation

At the core of the ISOC is a level of automation that ultimately increases efficiencies for campus leaders. It’s clear that for campuses to predict and identify threats in real time, actionable, intelligent data analysis must take place to present a unified risk scenario to the appropriate operators.

Advanced analytic applications, in conjunction with enterprise class security software, address this by gathering, processing and analyzing the data to deliver greater situational awareness and instant notifications to facilitate immediate action. These powerful solutions streamline investigations and empower operators to make rapid, informed decisions without expensive infrastructure changes.

On the Go

With the introduction of the smartphone, mobility has taken center stage, even in the security industry. For campuses to stay ahead and leverage automation and advanced threat detection, information must be available and accessible anytime, anywhere. The proliferation of mobile devices makes this possible and gives organizations more ways to protect people, property and information in mission critical environments.

For example, there are mobile applications available today that allow users to press a button on their mobile device and immediately alert security to a threat. Operators in the central command center can then open a line of communication with that user, obtain realtime video of what the user is witnessing, acquire their location and communicate with that user to update their status.

Additionally, mobile video applications can help security officers gain more insight to a situation when it occurs. These applications can push data to their mobile devices in real time from first responders, employees or citizens providing them with specific information on a security incident. This helps the operator assess the risk and respond quicker and more efficiently to the situation at hand. Overall, mobile capabilities add significant value to any organization’s security strategy by providing more data to the security operators and extending their reach far beyond the campus footprint.

The intelligent campus empowers organizations to be more efficient, effective and proactive in delivering best of breed services while protecting people, property and information assets in today’s everevolving risk environment. Security in an intelligent campus scenario is extremely complex. Security operators must balance the high expectations for an elevated and modernized campus experience, with the need to protect what matters most. This type of environment requires a comprehensive, coherent and cohesive security plan.

This article originally appeared in the September/October 2019 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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