Technology is key to securing physical and cybersecurity

Issue 1 2023 Education (Industry), Security Services & Risk Management

Conrad Steyn.

The interpretation of security in educational institutions depends on whom you are talking to and whether their focus is on the physical security of the institution, its assets and its people, or if one is looking at security from an information and communication technology (ICT) perspective.

When looking at the physical aspect, technology is playing an increasingly important role in improving security systems at educational institutions. Beginning with access control systems that ensure only those who have the necessary permissions can enter, while also providing a more secure way in which guests (and anyone else who is not a student or a staff member) can enter campus, and automatically disabling their ability to access the premises when their visiting time has expired.

It is also essential to have a well-lit campus covered by security cameras, which can act as a deterrent against criminality and reassure students and campus staff that their safety has been taken into account. In fact, various studies have revealed a significant reduction in crime when security cameras were introduced in particular areas.

Today, education institutions can turn to next-generation artificial intelligence-powered video surveillance, which involves specialised network/Internet Protocol (IP) cameras that will further help prevent unauthorised persons from gaining access to the campus. This is because these cameras can perform advanced analytical functions, including facial recognition, face detection, person detection, traffic and people counting and vehicle detection through automatic licence plate recognition (LPR).

Information security is also critical

Then, there is the challenge of cybersecurity: today, the vast majority of young people are connected to the internet, primarily through mobile devices, with being active and sharing content on social media being a key component. This makes them especially vulnerable to cyber criminals who wish to exploit them, using techniques such as social engineering and identity theft.

While they may not be responsible for a student’s actions when they are not on campus, institutions still have a responsibility to protect confidential student data such as names, ages, physical addresses, ID numbers and bank details. Not adequately secured, this data can be used by cybercriminals for activities such as identity theft and financial fraud. As such, raising awareness and educating students on how best to protect themselves online should be a part of any educational institution’s student safety strategy.

Educational institutions need to look at investments in security, such as next-generation firewalls and enforcing multi-factor authentication for people to access their internal network and data. In the longer term, these organisations can look at implementing these measures alongside a well-thought-out cloud infrastructure strategy, where they start relocating some, or all, of the institution’s data to a cloud data centre.

Not only does this add further layers of cybersecurity, but it also contributes to improving physical security, as institutions no longer have to worry about the safety of their IT infrastructure, rolling blackouts or even occurrences such as hardware failure.

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Local manufacturing is still on the rise
Hissco Editor's Choice News & Events Security Services & Risk Management
HISSCO International, Africa's largest manufacturer of security X-ray products, has recently secured a multi-continental contract to supply over 55 baggage X-ray screening systems in 10 countries.

Detecting humans within vehicles without opening the doors
Flow Systems News & Events Security Services & Risk Management
Flow Systems has introduced its new product, which detects humans trying to hide within a vehicle, truck, or container. Vehicles will be searched once they have stopped before one of Flow Systems' access control boom barriers.

Cybercriminals embracing AI
Information Security Security Services & Risk Management
Organisations of all sizes are exploring how artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI, in particular, can benefit their businesses. While they are still figuring out how best to use AI, cybercriminals have fully embraced it.

Integrate digital solutions to reduce carbon footprint
Facilities & Building Management Security Services & Risk Management
As increasing emphasis is placed on the global drive towards net zero carbon emissions, virtually every industry is being challenged to lower its carbon footprint and adopt sustainable practices.

Deception technology crucial to unmasking data theft
Information Security Security Services & Risk Management
The ‘silent theft’ of data is an increasingly prevalent cyber threat to businesses, driving the ongoing leakage of personal information in the public domain through undetected attacks that cannot even be policed by data privacy legislation.

Proactive strategies against payment fraud
Financial (Industry) Security Services & Risk Management
Amid a spate of high-profile payment fraud cases in South Africa, the need for robust fraud payment prevention measures has never been more apparent, says Ryan Mer, CEO of eftsure Africa.

How to prevent and survive fires
Fire & Safety Security Services & Risk Management
Since its launch in August 2023, Fidelity SecureFire, a division of the Fidelity Services Group, has been making significant strides in revolutionising fire response services in South Africa.

A long career in mining security
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice Security Services & Risk Management Mining (Industry)
Nash Lutchman recently retired from a security and law enforcement career, initially as a police officer, and for the past 16 years as a leader of risk and security operations in the mining industry.

Risk management: There's an app for that
Editor's Choice News & Events Security Services & Risk Management
Zulu Consulting has streamlined the corporate risk management process with the launch of Risk-IO, a web-based app designed to consolidate and guide risk managers through the process, monitoring progress as one proceeds.

Integrated information platform for risk management
Editor's Choice News & Events Security Services & Risk Management
Online Intelligence recently launched version 7 of its CiiMS risk and security platform. Speaking to SMART Security Solutions after the launch event, the company’s Arnold van den Bout described the enhancements in version 7.