Securing a Campus Environment Through Technology & Assessment

The convergence of security technologies with campus data networks presents significant opportunities, dangers and challenges.

We will even begin to find WiFi-enabled emergency vehicles whose presence at the scene of an incident will provide a wireless access point for use by emergency responders and for back-up communications through the use if VoIP technologies.

Smart Cards for Smart Campuses
Having survived a somewhat shaky start, smart cards are beginning to make their way back into the campus environment. Contact and contactless smart cards, made by a variety of manufacturers, are being used for secure access control transactions, storage of biometric templates, electronic purses and other applications. The storage capacity of these cards is continuing to increase, durability is constantly improving, and costs are coming down.

At the same time, the cost and reliability of standard and advanced proximity cards and readers is falling. Institutions are replacing magnetic stripe readers with proximity readers. Multi-technology cards that include magnetic stripe, bar code, proximity features and a smart chip are used as transitional credentials as the institution migrates to new readers over several budget years.

The convergence of security technologies with campus data networks presents significant opportunities, dangers and challenges. It is a complex process that requires assessment, planning, creativity, communication, commitment and management. As more security technologies become IP enabled, more institutions will consider this topology. It is vitally important to remember that moving time-sensitive alarm and video data onto an administrative network can be rife with danger. Safeguards are required throughout the network architecture to ensure it is reliable, sustainable, survivable and physically secure.

Elliot Boxerbaum, CPP, is board certified in security management and is president of Security/Risk Management Consultants Inc. in Columbus, OH. S/RMC provides security assessment, technology design, project management and management support services to colleges, universities and other facilities throughout the United States. Mr. Boxerbaum has almost 35 years of law enforcement, security and consulting experience. He is a member of ASIS International, serves on the ASIS Healthcare Security Council, and is a member of the International Association of Professional Security Consultants and a board member of Professional Security Consultants—International. Mr. Boxerbaum can be reached at or through