Keeping Our Kids Safe

Empowered experience: Making schools safer with cloud-based access control

We all believe kids should be safe when they’re at school, but we know, all too well, that safety and security are precarious and precious things. Our recent history illustrates that fact.We can mitigate future, similar incidents by implementing cloud-based identity and access management (IAM) systems. Cloud-based, or networked, systems give us a number of benefits including:
  • More information and easy access to it
  • More collaboration
  • More and improved security

The power of information

Some of us probably recall when metal detectors were first brought into schools. It alarmed parents, and it frightened students. Gone were the days of trekking to school with a bulging backpack. Even lockers were no more. Everyone had to carry their books from class to class and keep their personal items with them at all times.

The heightened security was an understandable response, but it did little to lessen safety and security concerns. In fact, it more than likely intensified them. How could it not? Going to school felt like going through airport security on a recurring basis.

Cloud-based systems can help ease those concerns and, in some cases, even remove the need for metal detectors and the like. With the cloud, school campuses can be better monitored but in a less obtrusive manner. That visual information can be coupled with other data, such as social logins and mobile credentials, to increase safety and security throughout the environment.

The power of access

Cloud-based IAM systems also make for easy access to data. Security personnel don’t have to wait for days to receive a video feed; they can turn to their mobile devices and view the feed in real time. They can compare the real-time feed against previous days. If the IAM system is integrated with something like the IDBox, they can even overlay the video with traffic patterns and look for anomalies that merit attention.

Security personnel aren’t the only data beneficiaries. Anyone involved with ensuring safety and security on the school campus has credentials and provisions for viewing data. For example, a board charged with improving response times during a fire or other emergency could be given access to traffic data and other, pertinent information in order to draw up emergency response plans.

The power of collaboration

The power of collaboration was somewhat alluded to in the previous paragraph. Different departments and even people external to the scholastic environment can be granted access to data. They, in turn, work together to develop solutions that better ensure the safety and security of the physical space and the people who inhabit it.

It isn’t the only sort of collaboration that occurs. With cloud-based systems, social identities, and mobile devices, physical safety and security becomes “crowdsourced.” Everyone in the space contributes to the safety and security of their neighbor. Deviation from a standard pattern of behavior – say, 11 or 12 students break away from their route to their morning homeroom – can reveal an issue needing to be addressed.

The power of improved security

Ironically, the less the security presence is felt, the more secure the school campus becomes. That doesn’t mean security has decreased. It’s increased, but its presence isn’t an obstruction. Security personnel still wander the halls, but they can relax their posture a bit as they turn to cloud-based resources and connected devices.

Those resources give them a greater ability to respond in real time and to guide students more quickly toward safe areas. They aren’t solely reliant on their own eyes and ears anymore or word-of-mouth reports from students, teachers, or staff. They have a networked system at their disposal that puts the power of improved security and safety in their pockets.


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