Education

Education Institutions have a high dependency on keeping up with the latest technologies available, whilst also keeping an eye on the budget. The learning environment is one that constantly changes and evolves and as a direct result demands the technical side to follow suit.

On-demand information, E-learning, online collaboration, and other networking technologies have improved the efficiency and richness of the learning experience in many educational institutions. However, the risk of operational disruption, loss of sensitive information and increased liabilities has gone up due to the potential for network misuse or security breaches.

Schools need strong security and great Wi-Fi to keep-up with the explosion of mobile devices now used within the school environment. More schools are utilising digital text books and incorporating the use of multi-video streaming across a classroom of students. With such developments in teaching and the external virtual environment, further burdens have been placed on the IT teams.

Net-Ctrl understands and appreciates the constant challenge educational institutions and IT teams working within face. We have been operating within the education sector for over 10 years, and in this time developed a solution portfolio that is ideal for the education environment. Not only do they deliver with performance, but are also competitively priced. Select any of the product areas below to find out more about what the solution has to offer to your industry.

Wireless in Education – Ruckus Networks

Schools, Colleges and Universities face increasing challenges to provide higher-speed, more reliable Wi-Fi to students, teachers and staff. They want strong security, killer coverage, and connections that don’t drop. They also need Wi-Fi to go to places where no Ethernet cabling has gone before, such as common areas, temporary classrooms, housing, and every corner of the campus.Schools, Colleges and Universities face increasing challenges to provide higher-speed, more reliable Wi-Fi to students, teachers and staff. They want strong security, killer coverage, and connections that don’t drop. They also need Wi-Fi to go to places where no Ethernet cabling has gone before, such as common areas, temporary classrooms, housing, and every corner of the campus.

Additionally, there are new mandates for many schools such as digital textbooks and 1:1 initiatives that require entire classes to concurrently get online to view material, collaborate on projects and present their work.

Tighter budgets and busy IT staffs make the transition impossible for most educational institutions.

Fortunately, Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi provides the technology that gives schools a cost-effective wireless infrastructure that’s in a class by itself. It provides robust, complete coverage and summa-cum-laude performance—at an affordable price.

With Ruckus, educational institutions gain:

  • Consistent, reliable connectivity no other Wi-Fi system can touch
  • Up to four times the coverage and higher performance using fewer APs
  • The lowest cost of ownership
  • Support for standard 802.1x, WPA (PSK) and WPA-2 (AES) security, plus automatic wireless setting and encryption key security
  • Comprehensive onboarding and security management solutions that ensure hassle free, safe connectivity with distinct privileges for students, teachers, staff and other groups.
  • Proven solutions to support BYOD, NAC, Mobile Device Management and other critical security management functions

IP Surveillance – MOBOTIX

Many schools, college and universities utilise pre-existing basic analogue CCTV systems to secure their site(s), but as we have witnessed many education sites have evolved and grown over the years exerting further strain on their current security solution. It’s at times like this these analogue systems suffer in terms of quality and flexibility, and begin to become a costly burden.

Mobotix AG offers educational sites the possibility of moving to high digital resolution, network-based video security systems to help protect students, site(s) and staff alike. Their decentralised technology allows for flexible monitoring terminals without the need for an expensive dedicated control room. The Mobotix IP-CCTV and Door Entry System also has sound capability and linkage to the building alarm system to quickly allow for visual and audio inspection of the site if any alarm zones are triggered.

Mobotix have also developed an Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system that allows car park barriers to rise only for staff vehicles and pre-authorised guests.

Securing Schools with IP-CCTV – A MOBOTIX Approach

The security of schools, colleges and universities and the safety of staff and students is one of the most important aspects of educational life. However, it is nearly impossible to deliver the necessary proactive approach within a limited budget.

This short guide provides an overview of the key issues facing educational organisations as well as a look at how innovative technology can help reduce cost, improve security and provide flexibility for progressive adoption of CCTV.

Protecting property, staff and students

Schools, colleges and universities share a number of common security issues. Balancing the requirements of accessibility with control and monitoring is challenging. Academic institutions primary desire is to spend resources on education and avoid administrative costs. As such, there is a requirement to gain as much value from CAPEX and to also simplify processes around security and facility management.

Education has benefited from ICT and although most campuses now have extensive data connectivity, the demand on these networks is growing and the additional burden of CCTV poses the potential for forcing expensive upgrades. In addition, campuses tend to have minimal facilities management teams which are often rolled into the ICT function. This means that CCTV needs to be simple and extremely reliable.

Finally, campuses are typically not setup for a centralised security control room. The common practice of distributed sites, schools and departments means that a single security desk is impractical. Accessibility to CCTV, for example to validate a visitor prior to entry, needs to be flexible enough to meet campus environments that are quickly evolving. This means the ability to integrate with intercom, door entry, barriers and card readers at a local level is often a vital requirement.

Securing sites with Access Control with CEM Systems

CEM SYSTEMS AC2000 – SMART AND FLEXIBLE

The CEM Systems AC2000 security management system has successfully been installed at many of the largest education facilities around the world. Manufacturing both the access control hardware and system software uniquely enables CEM Systems to meet the high scalability and integration needs of schools and universities.

SECURITY CHALLENGES OF MODERN DAY SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES

1) Public versus private areas of campus

Schools and universities need unrestricted free access to public areas of their campus to welcome the local community. However beyond these public areas, security then needs to be gradually increased using barriers and access controlled doors to protect areas such as libraries, plant rooms, labs, high-tech classrooms and student accommodation blocks.

The AC2000 security management solution supports multiple device types from wireless locks to fingerprint solutions which are ideal for specialist technical labs and server rooms. Indeed many education sites use a hybrid device approach to security with wireless locks installed on classroom doors and server cabinets and intelligent IP card readers with internal database on external doors with high footfall.

2) Securing student halls of residence

There are many challenges to securing student dormitories. How do you get large numbers of access controlled doors deployed quickly?

Wireless access control is proving the ideal solution. Using wireless locks you can easily secure doors without investing in too much infrastructure. As no cabling is required, wireless locks are also easier to deploy; especially in the case of new retro fit buildings with glass doors.

There is also the challenge of students inevitably forgetting their access control cards and not being able to gain entry to their student accommodation rooms. CEM Systems’ innovative emerald access control terminal with built-in VoIP intercom solves this problem. Students returning to dorms with no access control cards can simply call security via the emerald integrated intercom, providing bi-directional communication when assistance is required. It effectively removes the cost of purchasing a separate intercom solution from the access control system. Alternatively universities could opt for mobile credentials.

3) Building systems integration

Within a busy, large scale and complex educational environment multiple building systems must work together. Schools and universities often require a complete, fully integrated access control, intruder, fire and CCTV solution that connects directly to their IP network. The solution must also integrate seamlessly with existing student enrolment and staff databases for operational efficiencies.

4) ONE smart card solution

University access control cards can be used to perform other school functions such as follow me printing, library access, canteen charging and cashless vending.

Using the latest smart card technology, a number of operational sub systems can subsequently write their data to the one multifunctional smart card. To combat against the threat of card cloning, CEM Systems recommends using a highly encrypted DESFire smart cards (like DESFire EV2) that cannot be cloned. It is also important to opt for card readers that offer the highest level of in-built smart card technology.

Another area which is proving challenging to schools and universities is whether they should manage their own smart card keys. For user convenience schools can either use pre-personalised smart cards with encrypted algorithms or using the CEM AC2000 Utility software application, colleges can buy blank smart cards and maintain on-site control of their own smart card keys.

5) Legacy security equipment

The move away from legacy technologies such as 125 kHz, Proximity and early MIFARE smart card technologies, to a more secure smart card technology is still a major challenge for schools today.

When implementing a legacy security migration process, challenges include cost and the physical management and roll out of the new smart cards; especially when multiple sites and large numbers of cardholders exist.

CEM Systems has vast experience in replacing incumbent access control systems. We work closely with customers to gradually migrate them from unsecure technologies to a more secure smart card technology with encrypted algorithms. Legacy products can be supported using cost-effective CEM Systems DCM door controllers. Multi-technology card readers can also be utilised to simultaneously read dual technologies during the migration path.

6) A large card population and batch enrolment

Educational facilities have high attrition rates and often conduct a mass enrolment of student records within weeks.

The CEM AC2000 security management system comes with a comprehensive range of software applications including the AC2000 VIPPS (Visual Imaging & Pass Production System), which enables the college to design and batch print professional ID cards for staff, visitors and students. The user friendly AC2000 WEB personnel application also enables site security to access the AC2000 database via a web browser to update student / staff records on the go.

7) Health & safety emergency mustering

The safe evacuation of staff, students and visitors off site in the event of an emergency is a high concern on campus. The AC2000 Mustering and In Zone monitoring reports offer schools the ideal solution. During health and safety emergency ‘mustering’ scenarios, administrators simply run an In-Zone report providing the total occupancy count within campus. The CEM S3040 portable card reader can also be utilised to enable cardholders at muster points the ablity verify their identity against total campus count.

8) Student / Exam Time & Attendance

Many educational sites are using the CEM emerald access control terminal and portable card reader for T&A purposes within classrooms and exam rooms.

9) Highly scalable, enterprise solution

Schools must be safe in the knowledge that their security infrastructure can support an unlimited number of access controlled doors and expand as their needs inevitably change and grow. The CEM Systems AC2000 access control security management system is highly proven as a powerful access control platform which supports an unlimited number of cardholders, doors and remote enterprise sites.

 

Lockdown Solutions with Net-Ctrl

The potential of a security breach at a school, college or university has become more prevalent in today’s society. This has led to the installation of many security systems such as CCTV, Access Control and Barriers to help protect staff, students and parents. In addition, schools and colleges are now looking at their lockdown solutions and procedures to ensure they have an effective solution should it ever be required. Net-Ctrl has been working with a number of different manufacturers that have varying approaches to provide a lockdown solution for schools.

Lockdown Options

NEXUS

NEXUS is a battery powered, wireless critical alert system. The units are fully portable, wire free, and can be rapidly deployed for fire alert and lockdown situations.When one NEXUS unit is activated, all units within range that are on the same site will also be activated. The NEXUS system boasts a robust 1km line of sight transmission range between units and a long battery life of up to 3 years, with a maximum of 64 units operating on one site.

Bodet

Bodet’s Lockdown Alert System offers a unique customisable emergency alert, differentiated from other broadcast alerts such as evacuations, fire alarms or daily events. These can be triggered via a range of remote or local wired methods.This allows clear communication, improving the safety of both pupils and staff. The system operates on your existing IT network using Power over Ethernet (PoE).

Netgenium

Netgenium is an award-winning manufacturer of solutions that take advantage of the IP network. They are a UK based manufacturer who offers a range of IP based solutions that when combined can create an intelligent, scalable and feature-rich security system.The Netgenium range of IP PoE Active Speakers can provide a variety of intelligent solutions. It can operate as a traditional PA system with the benefits of IP or can work very well alongside other systems such as CCTV, Access Control, IP Telephony etc.

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