Cloud-based security gains traction in schools

Aug. 4, 2021
Access control systems residing in the cloud are scalable and cost-efficient

As organizations look to become more secure, proactive in mitigating risk and better able to leverage data-driven analytics, cloud technologies are etching out a bigger overall footprint. This is no different for educational facilities that are looking to implement highly stable and reliable access control platforms that can provide the framework for a seamless security strategy. recently spoke with Kim Loy, the Chief Product Officer for ACRE, who provided some insights about the growing trend of cloud-based access control solutions on campus.

SIW: Why are cloud-based security solutions ideal for educational facilities?

Loy: The two primary security systems used in schools are access control and video surveillance. While many educational facilities have on-premise security hardware and software systems, cloud-based solutions are taking the market by storm. Cloud-based systems, as well as certain hosted systems, can deliver remote access and instant management to protect the premises, making it ideal for schools without a robust on-site security team. What’s more, it can integrate seamlessly with other systems such as video surveillance, resulting in higher situational awareness.

SIW: What types of benefits do cloud-based access control solutions offer schools?

Loy: Cloud-based access control and certain hosted access control solutions offer numerous benefits compared to traditional on-premises security solutions. Cloud-based solutions allow schools to save expenses on traditional equipment like servers and maintenance. Updates are now provided automatically through regular software updates. Cloud-based access control is also an excellent tool in helping educational facilities scale their security infrastructure. By leveraging cloud-based infrastructure, less equipment and personnel are required at the facility, and fewer system upgrades are needed.

Hosted access control and cloud-based systems provide the flexibility to truly operate remotely. With this feature, admins can access the system 24/7 because all locations are configured and managed from web-accessed dashboards, meaning no individual is needed on-site to open doors or grant access. And don’t forget about the on or off-prem options. With some hosted access control solutions, security systems remain on-premises. They are deployed with a dedicated server for their application and are designed for scalability, ease of management, and elimination of risk across the organization. However, for smaller deployments, the option of having a cloud-based shared server is available as well.

SIW: What are the latest technology trends in cloud-based access control?

Loy: Because cloud-based access control systems tend to benefit organizations that typically do not have the necessary resources to house entire security teams themselves, its usage increases throughout multiple markets. The rising demand for the cloud, hosted and mobile access control, managed access, and biometrics are all trends that are increasing in popularity. These trends will continue to take root as convenient and scalable options for many organizations over the next few years. 

SIW: How can K-12 school districts work with solutions providers to create a cost-effective physical security roadmap?

Loy: School districts need to determine what risks they face and what type of security they are searching for in order to protect their most valuable assets: their students and teachers. Next, it’s vital to meet with providers that have systems capable of spanning across multiple locations, creating a scalable and cost-effective solution with the end-user in mind, and providing knowledge on the future upgrades to their platform.

Searching for a provider that offers a cloud offering is also essential. Look for access control systems that utilize a single license and enable efficient and straightforward programming of system functions and updates. By choosing a cloud-based or flexible hosted solution, the interface can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection and the corresponding mobile applications, providing excellent flexibility, scalability, and real-time system updates.