Is your security fit for purpose?

1 March 2020 Education (Industry)

A recent survey by The Times newspaper looking at the student experience found that university safety is becoming a deciding factor for students on where they choose to study. The need for universities to invest in their campus security is now becoming an imperative with many facing legacy issues that can affect their ability to attract prospective students.

The number one issue many university security system teams face is that their campus security system is over complicated, difficult to use and not fit for purpose. Officers need a user-friendly interface to manage their systems such as access control, CCTV software, and other security measures to ensure the safety of students and staff.

Having something that’s specifically designed for a technician and difficult to use can result in officers wasting their time on figuring out how to operate a system, especially in a critical incident response.

For universities, access control is more than just alerting operators if a door is open, closed, forced open or held open for a sustained period of time. It gives operators a clear view of what’s happening around campus and with CCTV software being tied into one interface, nothing can get missed.

Over time, it’s common for universities to develop complicated security systems relying on different suppliers, servers and systems.

Increasingly, universities are choosing to run their security systems across IP networks. When your CCTV system is viewable over IP, you can see footage from your CCTV cameras securely on a PC, via a web browser or a mobile device.

Many universities have a centralised architecture which uses traditional video processing. In these older systems, there’s an extra ‘hop’ where the video has to travel instead of working in a straight line. Video has to be processed before being displayed to the operator. Legacy solutions don’t speak directly to the cameras, making everything far slower.

IndigoVision security surveillance expert Suzanne Waugh explains: “If operators in the control room are following an individual or seeing some suspicious activity, they’ve got to use the system to move and call up new cameras. So it’s not recording in real time. When operators want to move the cameras, they have to tell the PC, which then has to tell the server, which then tells the camera. So you’ve got latency – there’s a delay.”

A Distributed Network Architecture (DNA), as developed by IndigoVision, offers a direct connection to the camera from your video management software platform. This means there is fast camera PTZ movement, with minimal lag when controlling or calling up cameras, and it is responsive by design for both live and playback video.

Not prioritising your university surveillance security system can have a negative impact on your whole institution. If your university is slipping down rankings for things such as duty of care and student security, this will soon reflect in other areas, such as recruitment and retention.

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