Urgent review of security at SA tertiary institutes

October 2004 Access Control & Identity Management, Education (Industry)

Security is being reviewed at tertiary institutes following the kidnapping and murder of university student Leigh Matthews. Priority is being given to the security at South African tertiary institutes. International security company Gallagher Security Management Systems (SMS) believes tertiary institutions need a broad-ranging preventive and remedial security system.

Gallagher SMS GM, South Africa, Mike Foley says the company has extensive experience and understanding of facilities management, including access control and security in the tertiary education sector.

"One of the biggest problems facing universities is managing student access - who goes where and when. This is relevant to both the tertiary campus and halls of residence or dormitories.

"Often, there are far more people living in student dormitories than permitted. Because keys are easily duplicated it is difficult to ascertain who is living there legitimately. This is a security risk for tertiary institutions because they do not know who is on the premises at any one time."

Around 50 Cardax security systems have been installed in higher learning establishments around the world by Gallagher SMS, a New Zealand-based company.

Foley says with the Cardax FT system, students can be issued with one access card which doubles as their student identification.

"Security levels can be layered with the Cardax FT system, employing higher security measures in certain areas. Students or staff may require a PIN (personal identification number) to access certain areas of the campus, or photographic comparisons may need to be established before access is granted. We recognise that people come and go from tertiary facilities at all times of the day and night so the buildings need to be 'open'. That does not have to mean they are not secure."

By securing the outside perimeter of a university, those who access the campus are immediately restricted, Foley says.

"Unfortunately tertiary institutes are often easy preying grounds for dangerous criminals. There are generally young women about, often working or moving around the campus alone. This is especially dangerous after dark.

"Universities around the world are now employing perimeter security solutions, such as the PowerFence - an electrified perimeter fence also produced by Gallagher SMS - not to keep their students in, but to keep unwanted visitors out."

Cardax FT can be linked with other security measures, such as perimeter fencing, video cameras, alarms and security personnel monitors. A breach in security can trigger a video camera to start recording at the incident site, as well as activate alarms. Reports are automatically transmitted to the security-monitoring centre.

Cardax FT Event Viewer (with Elevator HLI)
Cardax FT Event Viewer (with Elevator HLI)

Duress points can also be installed at strategic places around the campus, allowing those in danger immediate video and audio contact with the security control room.

As well as providing the platform for an integrated security system, Cardax FT also works as a student management programme. Cards can be used for library, photocopying and computer services, booking equipment, purchasing cafeteria items and even signing in at class or exams.

"Exam time is another major concern for tertiary providers," says Foley. "Is the right student really sitting the exam? With Cardax FT's photographic system, students can be visually identified as they badge their card to enter the exam room."

The system can be set up to work with current student registry databases, saving data entry time. Students can be automatically assigned access privileges depending on their courses.

Cardax FT can also work as an effective building management system, controlling intruder alarms, airconditioning, lighting and company recourses.

One of the first universities to employ Cardax FT technology, the University of New South Wales, in Australia, maintains that its security conscious approach is a drawcard for prospective students.

The institution's campus services manager, Alan Egan, says Cardax FT fits the university's philosophy of 'seamless and discreet' access control, providing a secure and safe environment 24 hours a day.

"The security of the campus is achieved by utilising various levels of card access," says Egan. Once inside the secure campus, access is provided to buildings, rooms within buildings and equipment within rooms.

"A good example is a lecturer allowing free access to a theatre while immobilising the space detection alarms and then activating the teaching aids from the smart lectern. This procedure is achieved from one access card - as is the reverse procedure to secure the theatre."

The University of New South Wales is one of the largest access control systems in the Southern Hemisphere, with 57 000 cardholders, 125 permanent buildings and 38 000 rooms.

Mike Foley says South African tertiary institutions should take a leaf out of the University of New South Wales' book.

"They need to step up the security mark before another family has to experience the anguish of losing a loved one."

For more information contact Mike Foley, Gallagher SMS, 011 397 2986, salesafrica@cardax.com, www.cardax.com


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

HID addresses identification challenges at ID4Africa
August 2019 , News, Access Control & Identity Management, Government and Parastatal (Industry)
Being able to verify people’s identities is critical for a nation’s growth and prosperity and yet HID says nearly half of all African citizens can’t prove who they are to vote, travel freely and receive government benefits and services.

Came acquires Turkish company Özak
August 2019, CAME BPT South Africa , News, Access Control & Identity Management
Came broadens its market horizons and signals growth and consolidation in the Middle East.

The benefits of electronic visitor management
August 2019, Powell Tronics , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
Access control is a critical aspect of estate security as it represents the controls put in place to restrict entry (and possibly exit) along the outer boundary of the location.

Addressing risks by means of access control layout and design
August 2019 , Access Control & Identity Management, Security Services & Risk Management
In order to develop a suitable, practical and appropriate security system for any organisation, it is essential to first develop a master security and life safety plan strategy.

Secure hands-free access
August 2019, Suprema , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
Suprema’s facial biometric terminals bring no-touch access into secure residential estates, high-rise apartments and luxury homes providing fast, easy and intuitive user authentication with the added benefit of hygiene.

MorphoAccess Sigma Extreme
August 2019, IDEMIA , Products, Access Control & Identity Management
MorphoAccess Sigma Extreme from IDEMIA is a touchscreen device with multiple recognition device interfaces (NFC chip reader, PIN and BioPIN codes, contactless card readers).

Outdoor access terminals
August 2019, Suprema , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry), Products
Rugged, dust- and weather-proof access control solutions that provide exceptional durability in extreme conditions is a strong requirement for many residential estates.

MorphoWave Compact
August 2019, IDEMIA , Products, Access Control & Identity Management
The MorphoWave Compact captures and matches four fingerprints on either the right or left hand in any direction. It is robust to environmental factors such as extreme light or dust.

MorphoAccess Sigma Lite
August 2019, IDEMIA , Products, Access Control & Identity Management
IDEMIA’s MorphoAccess Sigma Lite and Lite + are fingerprint access control terminals, offering time and attendance in and out function keys.

Eliminating forced gate opening scenarios
August 2019, ET Nice , Home Security, Access Control & Identity Management
When activated by the gate forced open alarm feature, the transmitter transmits a wireless alarm signal up to 750 metres in any direction.