Networking the scholar patrol

May 2009 Access Control & Identity Management

The issue of security remains an area of concern for most companies and institutions – irrespective of size or core focus. Factors like access control as well as time and attendance have developed into a great deal more than mere operational considerations and technology is consistently regarded as imperative to any credible solution.

The fact is that physical security has emerged as a complex responsibility for decision makers. It is one that involves numerous dynamics from human behaviour right through to daily practical operation of systems, processes and procedures.

While there may be a credible, practiced and well-oiled mechanism in place at a location to cover the basics of security, its success and level of efficiency is still dependent on people and the consequence of any action.

Given the myriad of possible threats institutions are faced with today, from theft of property to physical harm of employees or students to corporate espionage, it is not surprising that companies and institutions consider the implications of acquiring biometric technology to entrench effective security.

Biometric technology is a key driving force behind the growth of the security solution development and application industry. It is based on the recognition and processing of genetic information to allow or deny access, to record and automatically report on time and attendance, and instil higher levels of control over resources.

This technology has been strongly associated with fingerprint scanning, but there are a number of other methodologies eg, retina and facial recognition. The cost to operate any venture, service or operation today warrants a closer inspection of systems that promote good governance, effective control and return on investment.

The concept of identity theft is now established and has paved the way for further crimes against persons such as abduction, orchestrated through the ability to bypass efforts to control and regulate access to buildings and people.

Access control for schools is not only about creating an efficient means of controlling who has access to school property, when, why and how – it is also about regulating all aspects of the environment. The technology can be interwoven into the very fabric of an academic institution.

For example it can be tweaked and customised to regulate who is in class, whether or not learners are writing an exam, if teachers have reported for duty or how often a particular learner has been absent, and a whole host of administrative functions that form part and parcel of a typical place of learning.

The key characteristics of biometric technology mean that it is a flexible, robust system that can be made to fit virtually any environment. It is certainly relevant and of value to operations focused on community and social services.

Teryl Schroenn, CEO, Accsys
Teryl Schroenn, CEO, Accsys


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