If you are responsible for campus security–whether at a small college or large university–you know that keeping everyone and everything safe is a complex and demanding job. Every campus has unique security risks, from the sprawling urban campus with multiple buildings and residence halls to a small campus whose students and staff all know each other by name.
Added to that, campus security and public safety professionals deal with the very unique nature of college and university life, including:
- Classrooms and residence buildings that often need to be accessible around the clock.
- A plethora of academic, athletic, and social activities that bring students, staff, and visitors together across multiple locations at a variety of times.
- Highly connected cyber systems with hundreds or thousands of users and a host of sensitive student and staff details.
These dynamic circumstances mean that campus security needs to have an overview of everything all at once–and the potential for unintended errors or oversights can be big.
What Does Integrated Alarm Monitoring Mean?
Because of the countless moving pieces that go into managing a campus security system, integrated alarm monitoring is a crucial tool for college and university campus security teams.
Integrated alarm monitoring simply means that all of your systems can connect and communicate with one another, giving you a centralized and streamlined overview of your complete security posture. Imagine linking dozens or even hundreds of different sensors, alarms, security devices, computer systems, and even legacy systems, to gain a complete, interconnected overview of your campus security at all times.
What Are the Benefits of Integrated Alarm Monitoring?
Integrated alarm monitoring drives efficiency up and brings costs down. That’s because with a centralized, integrated system, you don’t need quite as many people eyeballing quite so many screens at all times, and can deploy your staff and resources in smarter ways.
First, an integrated campus security system can help you establish smarter workflows, policies, and procedures for dealing with threats. This can drastically improve your real-time response times thanks to better data analysis and reporting, as well as streamlined workflows that help you react quickly and wisely as threats emerge.
Second, if you depend on different systems (or even different teams) to secure your campus’ physical security and cybersecurity, it may be time to bring them into closer collaboration. Physical and digital security are increasingly inseparable as the Internet of Things brings these realms together and 5G accelerates data exchange between physical devices.
Finally, an integrated alarm monitoring system can help fill in your blindspots and reduce your margin of error. When you have too many systems and not enough eyeballs, staff miss crucial events that an integrated system could have spotted immediately.
How Does Integrated Alarm Monitoring Improve Campus Security Response Times?
You likely already have many excellent security measures in place, among them strong network and data security, video security and access control, and physical security guards or campus safety officers stationed throughout the premises.
While all of these security measures may work well on their own, these different tactics often don’t communicate with each other as well as they could. The challenge is when threats overlap–as they often do.
Consider this scenario: an unauthorized trespasser gets into a secured building or residence hall. Perhaps they get past your security staff at the entrance and are being picked up by surveillance cameras as they move through the building. In the best scenario, your physical security team and your video surveillance systems would work as one to help you quickly locate the intruder and escort them out of the building. This is a simple example of how integrated alarm monitoring can give you an edge on safety.
Now imagine if all points of your safety and security operations worked together, from alarm and access control to physical and cybersecurity systems. You would be able to pick up on multiple patterns of unusual activity more quickly, and then respond to those threats much faster in real-time.
What Should You Do to Integrate Your Campus Security Systems?
The first thing you might be wondering is, “Do I have to get rid of my existing infrastructure and install completely new systems?” In many cases, the answer is no. A well-chosen alarm monitoring software solution brings together both new and legacy systems in a cost-effective way. This allows you to upgrade what you have without having to rip everything out and start over from scratch.
When you begin searching for alarm monitoring solutions, look for software that can bring together independent legacy systems but also stay flexible enough to let you add additional systems in the future. Bold Group’s software solutions, like Manitou, are a good option. They let you combine every system you have now with every system you might want to add in the future, giving you a powerful, integrated picture of your security stance. When you’re ready to consider integrated alarm monitoring options, Bold Group can help you get started.